Posted 8 Mar 2014 by Walaa Idris
The working week was very eventful both nationally and internationally. However locally and for a Londoner like me, only one event stood out and dominated the past few days. The latest report on the Steven Lawrence murder investigation and the events that surrounded it, are most important.
The report finding that an undercover officer ‘might’ have been spying on the Lawrence family is shocking. Especially after recent negative headlines such as the Duggan shooting and Plebgate.
The police are our protectors and our safety guardians. Not to be able to fully trust them and feel 100% safe around them defeats their purpose and their existence.
That is why accusing any member of the force with corruption is a serious matter that should be closely scrutinised and swiftly dealt with.
When I learnt the Home Secretary, Theresa May, immediately ordered a judge led enquiry, my initial reaction was dismayed shock. As a police sympathizer, I felt a sense of betrayal from the person who is supposed to know them the best. Because since the late 90s in one way or another I worked or had close dealings with members of the Metropolitan Police, so do feel as if I know them well.
However, a day later, after listening to and reading all the remarks from all sides, I felt differently, and realised that May’s announcement was the fastest best way to kill any further speculation. Because a judge led enquiry will take the matter and the pressure from the Met while at the same time get to the bottom of the problem.
It was also a shrewd political move – we all know Labour loves enquires and would have sooner or later called for one.
Plus, hopefully this enquiry will put an end to 21 years of not knowing the full truth. It will also give the Lawrence family the answers they crave and deserve, thus allowing them to have some kind of closure. But most of all allows Steven Lawrence to rest in peace and make his memory about more than negative news headlines. The Lawrence family have suffered enough and suffered it publicly for a very long time; it’s time they find peace.
Finding the truth also means those who did wrong will be properly punished for their crimes.
Like all organisations, whether banking, teaching, nursing, politics or journalism, the police have some bad apples and they need to be appropriately dealt with. That in itself, having some bad apples, is not a big deal, but because of whom the police are it’s always shocking to learn about possible corruption in the force.
Nonetheless, what we all must remember is that the police and especially the Metropolitan Police do a great and honourable job day in and day out. With the exception of maybe a tiny number, all police are brave, selfless men and women who do a brilliant job in protecting us and keeping our great city safe.