Socialist Worker

Metropolitan Police: a long history of corruption, racism and criminality

by Hassan Mahamdallie
Issue No. 1932

The Morris inquiry is the latest in a series of investigations that should have exposed endemic racism and corruption in the Metropolitan Police.

Murders, armed robberies, drug dealing, “fitting up” innocent people, pocketing millions in “dirty money”, high level cover-ups and the activities of the freemasons have been the hallmarks of the “finest police force in the world” - as it likes to be known.

A new book, Untouchables - Dirty Cops, Bent Justice and Racism in Scotland Yard, describes a world in which Flying Squad officers and armed robbers are fused together into one violent and corrupt body.


Eton Green and Delroy Denton

Eton Green and Delroy Denton were two violent criminals from Jamaica. While on the run they were embraced by Scotland Yard who protected them in return for information on drug dealers.

Under Scotland Yard’s protection, Green and Denton went on a crime spree, terrorising the black community in London and Nottingham. Drugs and firearms charges and charges of the rape of a minor were dropped.

But in 1995, while under Yard protection, Denton “raped and murdered a young Brixton mother of two. Marcia Lawes was stabbed 20 times during a frenzied sexual assault.”

Green, who was also under police protection, organised serious crimes, robbing 150 people at a Nottingham nightclub at gunpoint.


‘Noble cause corruption’

Paul Condon, head of the Metropolitan Police during most of the 1990s, was protected by both Tory and Labour governments - despite massive scandals, including the Stephen Lawrence affair, that rocked the Yard.

It was Condon who coined the phrase “noble cause corruption”. This was the idea that some police justifiably “bend the rules” to get a conviction when officers “knew” the accused was guilty, but had no proof.

Condon was saying that the corruption at the heart of the Met had “noble” intentions. It was a green light for his officers to continue to “fit up” the innocent.


Stoke Newington

Stoke Newington Police Station in Hackney, east London, was notorious in the 1980s and 1990s for police corruption and racism. The two tended to go together, with local black people who complained of police criminality being “fitted up”.

Stoke Newington Police Station was also notorious for a series of violent black deaths in custody. The Hackney Community Defence Campaign, uncovered 130 cases of police brutality.

Its investigations exposed “a web of organised corruption in the local drug squad, and led to the overturn of 13 miscarriages of justice. Their efforts exposed a force out of control, racist and in denial.”


Stephen Lawrence

A web of corruption is entwined with the racism that infected the investigation into the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence.

The trail goes back to criminals from south east London connected to the 1983 Brinks Mat gold bullion robbery.

Those involved included Kenny Noye - now in prison for a road rage murder - who was alleged to have corrupt links to police officers.

One of Noye’s criminal associates was Clifford Norris. Clifford’s son David Norris was one of the gang of alleged killers of Stephen Lawrence.

Yet David Norris was never convicted. It was known that he was in contact with his father, who the police knew was hiding out in Kent. Why was he not picked up?

During the Macpherson inquiry into Stephen’s murder, the Lawrence’s solicitors battled to make the links between corruption and racism.

But they were blocked by the Met police who were desperate to keep separate the question of police corruption in south east London and the Lawrence murder.

One Flying Squad officer who had investigated links between the Brinks Mat gang and police was prevented from giving evidence at the Lawrence inquiry.

He said that this was done because “there are links between south east London criminal families and policemen, senior policemen, that go way back… and the Yard couldn’t afford for any of this to come out during the Lawrence inquiry”.

The Home Secretary at the time, Jack Straw, must have known all this… and said nothing. Instead Straw backed Condon to the hilt.

What if we all knew then what we know now about the corrupt goings-on in south east London?

Not only would Condon have been forced out, but there would have been calls for the whole of south east London Metropolitan Police to have been disbanded. Was this too much for “law and order” Straw to contemplate?

Untouchables: Dirty Cops, Bent Justice and Racism in Scotland Yard by Michael Gillard and Laurie Flynn is available from Bookmarks (£18.99). Phone 020 7637 1848 or go to www.bookmarks.uk.com


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Sat 18 Dec 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1932
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