Greater Manchester Police has responded to reports that a memo was issued to officers at the force to gather information on groups attending the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry in Manchester in 1998. In a statement, the force said:
"GMP is aware of coverage in the media which relates to the public hearings of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry that were held in Manchester in 1998.
"Concerns have been raised regarding a memo that was issued which is believed to have requested GMP officers to gather information on groups or individuals who were attending these hearings.
"Due to the length of time that has elapsed since then, efforts to locate this memo and any other related material remain ongoing.
"GMP recognises the need to fully explore the legitimacy of the use of any such tactics.
"We are taking these concerns very seriously and this matter will be fully investigated. A voluntary referral is being made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and we are in contact with the Metropolitan Police Service.
"In the meantime we will secure and preserve any information we find which may help any ongoing or future investigations.
"We understand that this is a very sensitive and emotive subject for all concerned and that a full investigation of the issues is necessary."