More police forces have been asked to look at whether their officers carried out surveillance and intelligence-gathering on anti-racism campaigners surrounding an inquiry held in the fall-out of the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
The Home Office has asked West Midlands Police and Avon and Somerset Police to scour their records in respect of the Macpherson inquiry into the police handling of the Lawrence case, which held regional hearings in 1998 in cities including Birmingham and Bristol, as well as Manchester and Bradford.
Both forces have confirmed they are now carrying out their own investigations.
The investigations come after claims by a former undercover officer with the Metropolitan police that attempts were made to find information to smear the Lawrence family following Stephen's murder in Eltham, in April 1993.
– Assistant chief constable Marcus Beale, West Midlands Police
"Following recent events across the country and subsequent correspondence from the Home Office, West Midlands Police are undertaking checks to see whether there is any material held that suggests intelligence or surveillance activity was ordered or carried out in respect of the Macpherson inquiry or those connected to the inquiry.We will be reporting back to the Home Office by July 10."
– Avon and Somerset Police spokesman
"We looked into any implications from the Stephen Lawrence case a couple of weeks ago but didn't find anything.However, in light of a letter from the Home Secretary we are now carrying out a separate review to make sure we didn't miss anything.It is not the case that we are being investigated independently. We are doing our own investigation."