Detective Chief Inspector Clive (Julian) Driscoll is a former Metropolitan Police detective. Born 1951, Driscoll joined the police in 1979 and was forced to retire in February 2014. He is noted for his involvement in a number of high profile cases, including the investigation of paedophile rings in Lambeth and the conviction of two of the killers of Stephen Lawrence.
- 1 Lambeth paedophile ring
- 2 Child sex allegations against Sir Edward Heath
- 3 Stephen Lawrence murder investigation (Operation Fishpool)
- 4 Ellison Review
- 5 Career timeline
- 6 Notes
Lambeth paedophile ring
As DI, Driscoll was in charge of the Lambeth part of the paedophile investigation into children's home boss Michael Carroll from August 1998 to some time in 1999. The Merseyside Police investigation called Operation Care had come to London to follow up leads after Carroll had taken over the Angell Road children's home in Lambeth, Brixton. Though Carroll was arrested and convicted in 1998 of a string of child sex assaults, Driscoll was removed from the case, and the London probe was shut down shortly afterwards.
As was revealed as recent as March 2015, Driscoll thinks he was removed because of politically embarressing allegations that a minister in the government of Tony Blair was involved. Now retired, Driscoll told BBC Newsnight that the Lambeth part of the investigation, Operation Trawler, was "all too uncomfortable to a lot of people". He claimed that he was removed from his post after sharing his suspicions at a meeting with other officers, because disclosing suspects' names was considered inappropriate.
He also said:
- I was unhappy with the interference of some senior officers who did not appear to have a logical connection to my investigation into child sex abuse in Lambeth. There were allegations made by several people that named politicians had been involved but I never had a chance to investigate them because I was moved before I could do so.
In direct response to Newsnight, the Metropolitan Police announced it would formally investigate both Driscoll’s alleged discoveries in Lambeth — and the manner in which he was removed from office — as part of Operation Trinity, a new inquiry focused on sex abuse in the borough in the Eighties and Nineties. That investigation continues, according to the Mail Online in July 2015.
In his autobiography, published late July 2015, Driscoll presents a further detailed account of what happened in 1998-1999. The Metropolitan Police, asked by the Daily Mail in an article about the book, would say only that ‘there remains an ongoing investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards into allegations made by Clive Driscoll’.
There are two inquiries into historical child sex abuse allegations that dominated national headlines in 2015. One is a sweeping, independent inquiry looking at how public bodies dealt with these types of allegations, while the other will look at how the Home Office handled abuse claims dating from the 1980s.
Murder of Bulic Forsythe
As part of Operation Trawler, Driscoll recommended that the case into an unsolved murder related to a child sex ring be reopened.
In 1993, an employee of Lambeth Council's Social Services called Bulic Forsythe was beaten to death. At the time an internal review in Lambeth Council had indicated the existence of a child sex ring involving local politicans and council officals, as well as police officers. Forsythe had said he was going to 'spill the beans' after making allegations about sexual abuse at South Vale youth assessement centre, a vice ring said to have included a future minister in Tony Blair's government. After the killing on 4 February 1993, witnesses mentioned seeing three official looking men taking files away from Forsythe's Clapham home; the following day there was an attempt to burn the flat.
In 1998, Driscoll found potential links between the murder and his investigations into childrens homes. A memo to brief government ministers at the time stated:
- There is an unsolved murder of [an official] which some staff in Lambeth believe is linked to paedophile activity, corruption and Mr Carroll. The police do not rule this out and are re-evaluating this and other serious crimes and incidents.
Driscoll was removed from the case shortly afterwards, and Bulic’s murder file was shelved for another 15 years. Following a Daily Mirror investigation Scotland Yard began a cold case review late 2013. A spokesman told the paper in February 2015 that they were still examining forensic evidence.
Involvement of Hogan-Howe
Driscol's investigation is now one of a series of present and historical child sex scandals that are being re-examined by the Met's Operation Trinity. His is a special one, because Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was an Assistant Chief Constable at Merseyside in 1998 when the force uncovered claims one of Tony Blair’s ministers was a suspected paedophile.
This raised concerns about the Met investigating itself. (Apart from that the current investigation is restricted to serving and retired police officers, but those implicated include politicians, civil servants and former council employees.) The question is whether Hogan-Howe knew of the allegations at the time. A source close to the Operation, interviewed by MP Tom Watson, said:
- The senior investigating officer at the time would have been expected to have reported to his senior officers the fact a serving government minister had come under suspicion.
- It’s inconceivable to think that senior Merseyside officers would not have known.
This was denied by Scotland Yard in March 2015, who said that 'The Commissioner did not have day-to-day involvement and does not recollect details about the investigation, those suspected or any associated allegations made regarding politicians.'
It is of note that Colin Leeman, a Merseyside officer involved in Operation Care and the subsequent conviction of Michael Carroll, would become a staff officer for Hogan-Howe when the latter joined Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. Leeman went on to become Depty Head of Crime at Merseyside Police, then in 2014 an Associate Inspector of Constabulary.
Associated officers (aside)
Following Driscoll's removal, his investigation was taken over by Operation Middleton under under Det. Supt. Richard Gargini, who was reporting direct to Commissioner Paul Condon and Assistant Commissioner Denis O'Connor.
- Richard Gargini would later turn up as the Special Branch connected National Co-ordinator for Community Engagement with rank of Commander.
- Sir Denis O'Connor played a significant role in the establishing of the Lawrence Review Team and the Metropolitan Police's response to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. As Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police 1998-2000 he was in charge of South West London, including Lambeth and Brixton. He has close connections with many of the officers who oversaw the use of undercover police officers in the Special Demonstration Squad and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit. As HM Inspector of Constabulary he oversaw the discredited review into the Mark Kennedy undercover policing scandal.
Child sex allegations against Sir Edward Heath
Early August 2015, when the police announced they would investigate new allegations of child sex abuse made against Sir Edward Heath, Driscoll revealed that he had been asked to interview such a complaint back in 2001 – while the former prime minister was still alive (Heath died in 2005, aged 89). Then a detective inspector, Driscoll was picked for the task after having been moved off the child sex abuse investigation in Lambeth discussed above.
Driscoll told The Guardian that the victims he talked to were very unhappy with Scotland Yard's response:
- [T]he woman he interviewed said she had been abused as a child by a group of people, including Heath on multiple occasions: “The person was 100% sure they were talking about Ted Heath. She totally believed what she was saying and that’s where the investigation starts, not where it stops.”
- The woman claimed the abuse happened at a time after Heath had served as prime minister. Driscoll said others made similar abuse allegations, but he was not asked to take statements from them.
- [...]Driscoll said he was asked to interview the complainant by a serious sexual offences steering group set up by Scotland Yard to review abuse claims. He said: “My guess is it was not followed up properly, but I don’t know. The culture at the time would have been not to believe them.”
Meanwhile, at least seven forces have received claims relating to Heath and child sex abuse. However, the force to coordinate and lead police lines of inquiry into whether Heath was a child sex offender, is the Wiltshire police - the one force that is under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over botching its handling of similar claims in the mid 1990s.
Stephen Lawrence murder investigation (Operation Fishpool)
It was an investigation by Driscoll that finally brought the murders of Stephen Lawrence to trial and got them convicted. After a four year re-investigation (2000-2004) by the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force - Operation Athena Tower led by John Grieve - failed to produce sufficient evidence to prosecute anyone for the 1993 murder, Driscoll was appointed the Senior Investigating Officer for a full forensic review of the murder on 20 June 2006. Code-named Operation Fishpool, Driscoll and his team managed to generate new leads through engaging the services of a prviate forensics company LGC Forensics. The subsequent new investigation, also led by Driscoll, produced the only convictions for the murder, with the jailing in 2012 of two of the gang's members, Gary Dobson and David Norris. Driscoll was commended by the trial judge though he did not recieve any public commendation from the Metropolitan Police despite the convictions being considered triumphs for Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick.
In 2014, Driscoll was forced to retire. His 30 years of service with the police - a point of retirement as part of ongoing cuts on policing budgets - had come up in 2011, but Driscoll was not ready to go yet. He believed he had fresh evidence which could allow a sixth, otherwise publicly unknown individual, to be charged for their role in the murder. The forced retirement was met with anger by the Lawrence family and Duwayne Brooks. Doreen Lawrence said of the decision: 
- I'm absolutely furious Clive is being taken off the investigation. It seems the clearest sign yet that the Met is planning on winding down the investigation, and that is wrong. He is the first officer I have trusted and the only one to have delivered in the investigation.
Duwayne Brooks said it was extraordinary and upsetting that Driscoll had been removed, and said of him that he had been 'stabbed in the back' by colleagues, and that Driscoll's personal style had allowed him to spend years winning the confidence of witnesses and getting them to talk.
Asked by Newsnight if he would trust the Metropolitan Police if he was the Lawrence family, he responded: 'No, I probably would not.'
Operation Fishpool and press leaks
Operation Fishpool was discussed in the context of the phone-hacking scandal, when Driscoll appeared before the Leveson Inquiry to testify about the series of leaks to the press which had 'a negative impact on the progress of the case'.
Driscoll himself had a policy of not speaking to journalists about the case as he did not believe it would be helpful to the case to speak to them direct. He had decided not to provide any information to the press about the new forensics results and instructed various other parties there was to be no disclosure.
However, on 18 October 2007 an article appeared in News of the World about the investigation including the new forensic leads. On 7 November 2007, the Lawrence family and their lawyers met with Driscoll, Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, two people from Driscoll's team and a representative from the Crown Prosecution Service. Though there had been efforts to keep the meeting secret, an account appeared in the Daily Mail on the 8 November 2007, forcing the Metropolitan Police to confirm there were new forensic leads. The leaks led to a further souring of relations between the police and the Lawrences.
Leaks of highly confidential and sensitive nature continued to take place, including of anticipated arrests. In 2010 the situation had got so bad, Driscoll had to get a Press Restriction Order. No source for the leaks were ever identified. Driscoll told Levison he came to believe it could only come from 'someone sitting on the perimeter'. He thought the Daily Mail and in particular its correspondant Stephen Wright, were being used - though Wright stated that no police source had been involved (and the mention of such in the article was a wrongful insertion by a junior copy writer).
Driscoll explained to the Levenson Inquiry:
- In the lead up to the trial [of Dobson and Norris] a contact who had provided information to the investigation asked me to keep their name and address a secret because they were concerned about what the Defendants might do now they had been arrested. The contact asked me specifically not to tell a named senior member of the MPS. They asked me to give my word that this person would not have any involvement and would not be told. I didn't even know who this individual was and asked why the contact had said that. The contact originally said it was well known in Fleet Street that this person briefed outside official meetings and later added a more serious allegation. This concerned the close relationship between this senior member of the MPS and sections of the media. The relationship was rumoured to be corrupt.
- ...I also reported the allegation immediately, via my line management structure, to the Head of the Department of Professional Standards, DAC Mark Simmons. I know that the allegation was taken seriously and the Commissioner also spoke to me about it. I understand a confidential operation followed and I made both a statement and supplied a report to it. I have since been informed that the information regarding corrupt practice was fully assessed and found to be third party information and rumour. It could not be corroborated. Further, I am told that the findings were reported to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and Operation Elveden.
It is of note in this context that Mark Simmons was part of the Lawrence Review Team 1998-1999 during the Macpherson Inquiry which ran 1997-1999.
In 2014, Ellison Review into police corruption and undercover work in relation to the Macpherson Inquiry discovered that the LRT withheld crucial information on corruption of officers involved to the original murder investigation to the Macpherson Inquiry. The LRT also had a meeting with undercover officer N81 who was infiltrated in groups around the Lawrence campaign in 1998, considered highly inappropriate in hindsight.
Driscoll provided the Ellison Review with a copy of a report into police corruption generated by the 1999-2000 Operation Othona, commissioned by the then head of the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force, DAC John Grieve (who had also engaged in spying on Duwayne Brooks). This is of significance as it subsequently came light that much of the Othona files had been destroyed; Ellison found out that a "lorry-load" of documents, photographs and videos had been shredded over a two-day period in 2003. The paperwork would have included surveillance logs, listening device records and informant contact sheets, according to a Scotland Yard statement.
In another part of the Ellison Review, Driscoll is mentioned by John Davidson, a detective in the first Stephen Lawrence murder investigation suspected of having corrupt links with the father of one of the prime suspects. Davidson told Ellison that in advance of the 2011 trial of the suspects where he could be called as witness, Driscoll assured him the MPS was still behind him. Ellison wrote:
- [Davidson] was verbally told by DCI Clive Driscoll that the MPS was "regretful" as to how he had been treated after the 2006 BBC programme [which asserted there had been police corruption around the original murder investigation]. He asserted that he was told that he was a "credible witness" and that his evidence "was believed and accepted by the defence".
Whether Driscoll corroborates this or not is not mentioned in the Ellison Review. Davidson was not called as a witness at the trial. He has always denied wrongdoing, although there are many detailed accounts of his relations with criminals. In his report on corruption in the murder of Stephen Lawrence case, published in 1999, Sir William Macpherson criticised Davidson's conduct but appeared to exonerate him from being motivated by corruption: "We are not convinced DS Davidson positively tried to thwart the investigation."
Police withholding documents to Ellison?
Driscoll also told Newsnight in July 2014 that senior officers in the Met had discussions about holding back certain documents from the Ellison Review, the independent inquiry that looked into allegations of police corruption in the Stephen Lawrence case.
He warned: "One bad decision around disclosure undoes the remarkable work that police officers do up and down the country".
- 3 May 1979, joined the Metropolitan Police Service.
- Began duties (ca. 1981) at Sutton Police Station as a Police Constable and Temporary Detective Constable.
- May 1985: appointed Police Sergeant and posted to Brixton Police Station.
- 1987: Detective Sergeant, Burglary Squad & Crime Desk, where he formed one of the first Domestic Violence Units.
- 1992: transferred to CO41 at New Scotland Yard, where he was in charge of policy for the Sexual Offences, Domestic Violence, Child Protection and the Paedophile Unit. He answered to Commander David Kendrick.
- 1998: moved to Lambeth in July 1998 as a member of SO5, a specialist Scotland Yard unit focused on child protection, working on child sexual abuse at the Angell Road children's home (Brixton) and South Vale Youth Assessment Centre (West Norwood).
- 1999: Detective Inspector, working on a Child Protection Team.
- ca. 1999-2001: Detective Inspector, Fulham Police Station.
- 2001: joins Lambeth Complaints Department, within the Directorate of Professional Standards.
- 2003: Detective Chief Inspector and Senior Investigating Officer with the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force; the unit was later reorganised into the Serious Crime Directorate, though Driscoll effectively kept his position and responsibilities, which included several murder cases, honour killings and historical investigations:
- (2003?) Involved in investigation of homophobia in reggae music (a file on this matter was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service in November 2003).
- 2004: Led operation which caught Nicholas 'Goldtooth' Stewart, a serial robber who preyed on gay men on Hampstead Heath. At the time a key case in changing relationships between the Metropolitan Police and the LGBT community.
- 2006: Took over Operation Fishpool, the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
- 2007: SIO in investigation of murder of Surjit Athwal, Operation Yewland. (It is of note that this case also suffered a leak to the London Evening Standard that jeopardised the wellbeing of a key witness.)
- 3 January 2012: conviction of Gary Dobson and David Norris for the murder of Stephen Larwence, following a trial that started on 14 November 2011 (it was announced charges were being pressed on 18 May 2011).
- February 2014: forced retirement from the Metropolitan Police.
- July 2015: publication of his book In Pursuit of Truth, a life in the Met.
- Clive Juian Driscoll, CompanyCheck.co.uk (website), undated (accessed 4 July 2015)
- Guy Adams, Crack Scotland Yard detective says top brass sabotaged his bid to expose Blair minister in Establishment paedophile ring, Daily Mail, 24 July 2015, accessed 11 August 2015
- Tom Pettifor, Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe facing probe over child abuse 'cover-up', 17 March 2015, Daily Mirror (accessed 19 March 2015
- Metropolitan Police Service, MPS position on recent media coverage of historical sexual allegations and current investigations, 19 July 2014 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Jason Beattie, James Lyons & Tom Pettifor, MPs call for public inquiry into Mirror's former minister child abuse cover-up revelations, The Mirror, 28 April 2014 (accessed 4 July 2014).
- Ben Quinn, Scotland Yard detective 'removed over plan to investigate child abuse claims', the Guardian, 16 July 2014 (accessed 19 March 2015)
- Tom Pettifor, Paedo MP cover-up claim: Top cop removed from sex abuse probe after naming politicians as suspects, The Mirror, 26 March 2013 (accessed 4 July 2015)
- Laura Kuenssberg, [Metropolitan Police officer was moved 'from child abuse inquiry', BBC Newsnight, 15 July 2014, accessed August 2015
- Guy Adams, Crack Scotland Yard detective says top brass sabotaged his bid to expose Blair minister in Establishment paedophile ring, Mail Online, 24 July 2015, accessed August 2015, quoting Driscoll's autobiography
- Tom Pettifor, Was Bulic Forsythe killed to protect paedophile ring 'linked to future minister in Tony Blair’s government?', The Mirror, 21 May 2014 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Tom Pettifor, Was council official murdered to stop him revealing those linked to VIP paedophile ring? New witness speaks out, The Mirror, 21 May 2014 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Social worker admits child abuse, BBC News Online, 5 July 1999, (accessed 4 July 2015)
- Colin Leeman, Profile, LinkedIn.com, undated (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Sophie Goodchild, Hunt for abused children, The Independent, 7 February 1999 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Tom Pettifor, Tony Blair demands investigation into claims one of his ministers sexually abused children, The Mirror, 1 May 2014 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Vikram Dodd, Edward Heath abuse claims: allegations received in 2001, says former detective, The Guardian, 11 August 2015, accessed August 2015
- Press Association, Stephen Lawrence Case, The Guardian, 8 November 2007 (accessed 3 July 2015).
- Tom Pettifor, How Clive Driscoll nailed Stephen Lawrence's killers Gary Dobson and David Norris, The Mirror, 6 January 2014 (accessed 4 July 2015)
- Damien Reece, How being a private company has helped LGC solve the murders of Stephen Lawrence and Milly Dowler, The Telegraph, 8 January 2012 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Stephen Wright, Police bugged Lawrence killers' homes, cars, pubs and snooker halls. They even bought a house next door and befriended suspect, Daily Mail, 4 January 2012 (accessed 28 June 2015).
- Tom Pettifor, Stephen Lawrence mother's fury after Met axes hero detective who put two of his killers behind bars, The Mirror, 6 January 2014 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Vikram Dodd, Stephen Lawrence family fury over police change, The Guardian, 6 January 2014 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Tom Pettifor & Melissa Thompson, Axed Stephen Lawrence detective Clive Driscoll had lined up a SIXTH murder suspect How Clive Driscoll nailed Stephen Lawrence's killers Gary Dobson and David Norris, The Mirror, 7 January 2014 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- DCI Clive Driscoll, Witness Statement, Leveson Inquiry, 14 March 2012 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Hacked Off, Stephen Lawrence investigation 'could have been jeopardised' by the Daily Mail, 15 March 2012 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Stephen Wright, Lawrence murder: Evidence 'missed by forensic experts' 14 years ago, 8 November 2007 (accessed 4 July 2015). Note, another version of this article appeared with the title 'Stephen Lawrence's father hails breakthrough that could lead to new arrests of suspects and apparently published online on 7 November 2007 - see dates as listed at Articles by Stephen Wright, Journalisted.com, undated (accessed 4 July 2015)
- For Stephen Wright's version see Dominic Ponsford, Met Police making 'intimidating calls' to crime journalists, Press Gazette, 16 March 2012 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Mark Ellison, Stephen Lawrence independent review: volume 1, Home Office, 6 March 2013 (accessed 1 April 2014), p.137.
- Danny Shaw, Met Police corruption probe papers shredded 'over two days', BBC News Online, 18 March 2014 (accessed 3 July 2015).
- Mark Ellison, Stephen Lawrence independent review: volume 1, Home Office, 6 March 2013 (accessed 1 April 2014), p.155.
- see for instance Michael Gillard and Laurie Flynn, Untouchables: Dirty cops, bent justice and racism in Scotland Yard, Bloomsbury 2012
- Vikram Dodd, Stephen Lawrence detective with 'corrupt links' to accused's father named, the Guardian, 6 March 2014 (accessed August 2015
- Reggae prosecution moves one step closer; Music Week, 10 November 2003 (accessed 1 July 2015).
- Jonathan Allen, Six years for Heath prowler Goldtooth, Camden New Journal, 9 September 2004 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Sarbjit Kaur Athwal, My mother-in-law the murderess: Behind the net curtains of a suburban London home, a horrific story of arranged marriage, claims of adultery, appalling murder and awesome courage, Daily Mail, 14 June 2013 (accessed 4 July 2015).
- Miranda Prynne, Stephen Lawrence: a timeline, Daily Telegraph, 6 March 2014 (accessed 4 July 2015).