Stephen Lawrence: Internal police memo ‘shows officers were ordered to spy on campaigners’ ahead of public inquiry

An internal police memo shows how senior police officers ordered intelligence to be gathered on supporters of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence days before a public inquiry into his murder visited Manchester in 1998.

The message – obtained by the Manchester Evening News – was circulated to senior officers on the force’s computer system before being passed on to junior ranks.

The force’s Special Branch sought ‘information or intelligence’ on anyone likely to attend the public inquiry.

The inquiry, chaired by Sir William Macpherson, was held at Jarvis Piccadilly Hotel in Manchester on October 12 and 13 as it toured the country.

 Stephen Lawrence, 18, was beaten to death on a London Street in April 1993.

Failings in the way his murder was investigated eventually prompted the Macpherson inquiry which, when it published its findings in 1999, included damning criticism of the police and led to calls to tackle racism in the force.

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