Richard William Walton (born June 1965) is a former Head of Counter-Terrorism Command (SO15) within the Metropolitan Police Service. In March 2014, the Ellison Review into corruption and spying around the Stephen Lawrence Murder Inquiry revealed Walton had a meeting with an undercover officer infiltrating campaign groups working closely with the Lawrence family. At that time, Walton was part of the Lawrence Review Team, preparing the Metropolitan Police submissions and responses to the Macpherson Inquiry into the failed murder investigation. The meeting had been set up by Bob Lambert, acting chief of the Special Demonstration Squad, and handler of the undercover identified as "N81".
Ellison was critical of the meeting taking place, calling it 'wrong-headed' and noted that it could have sparked disorder if it had become publicly known. He also criticised Walton for retracting his detailed earlier statement once he knew he would be criticised. As a result of this criticism and public outcry over spying on the Lawrences, Walton was 'temporarily' removed from his post and his conduct was referred to the Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC). He was reinstated on 1 December 2014. However, in May 2015 the IPCC announced the investigation was continuing and being widened.
In January 2016 it emerged that Walton was retiring ahead of any outcome, a move that would allow him to avoid disciplinary hearings following the IPCC probe. This came under criticism from Stephen Lawrence's mother Doreen who called on Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe to suspend Walton, saying:
- I find it upsetting to think that Commander Walton might be able to retire without being held to account... He shouldn't be allowed to retire just when the IPCC says there's a case to answer.
Later it became clear that he retired just six days after the IPCC submitted its findings to the Metropolitan Police. He would have had a case to answer, because his actions could have potentially underminded the public inquiry into the case and public confidence in it.
- 1 The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry
- 2 IPCC Investigation: Suspension and Retirement
- 3 Walton and the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force
- 4 Career in Special Branch and Counter Terrorism
- 5 Phone-hacking scandal
- 6 Operation Creel (blacklisting)
- 7 Police Career
- 8 Post-police career
- 9 Education & publications
- 10 Affiliations
- 11 Additional UndercoverResearch resources
- 12 External resources
- 13 Notes
The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry
- Main article: Lawrence Review Team
The black teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993 in South London and subsequent police investigation was dogged by allegations of police racism and corruption. As one of a series of racially motivated murders and attacks, the campaign by the Lawrence family for justice touched a powerful chord and included a visit by Nelson Mandela. The public outcry prompted the government of the day to set up the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry under Sir William Macpherson which held public hearings throughout 1998 and reported in 1999. This attracted much media attention, especially once it became clear that in his findings, Macpherson was going to be highly critical - and would label the Metropolitan Police Service as 'institutionally racist'.
The Inquiry was a pivotal moment for UK policing, and the findings would send shock-waves through UK police forces, inaugurating policy change at all levels. Significant public tensions around put the issue high on the agenda; accordingly, Paul Condon, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police had set up the Lawrence Review Team to help him prepare the Met Police response for the second set of hearings. The Team was formed of several officers who went on to high ranking positions - Matt Baggott (left July 1998), Sara Thornton, Mark Simmons and Bob Quick, and they answered in the first instance to Assistant Commissioner Ian Johnston. Richard Walton told Ellison that he had been called up by Bob Quick to join the team, because he was on the accelerated promotion scheme. Minutes from the time, cited by Ellison, note he held the rank of Acting Detective Inspector while with the Team.
The Lawrence Review Team would present a report to Condon, and Walton told the Ellison that he was the author of Chapter 12 - the Metropolitan Police's response to allegations of racism.
By August 1998, much of the important public work of the Inquiry had been done, and the Lawrence family had called upon Commissioner Paul Condon to resign. A break was taken over the Summer with further public hearings to recommence in September, at which point the response of the Metropolitan Police was expected. Aware his force would be subjected to serious criticism, Commissioner Paul Condon started taking proactive measures, including the establishment of the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force under John Grieve.
Meeting in Bob Lambert's garden
It was in this context that in August 1998 Richard Walton met with N81, an undercover officer who had a key position within one of the anti-racism groups that had allied themselves to Lawrence family in their Justice for Stephen campaign. The Ellison Review zoomed in on the meeting, went through evidence gathered by Operation Herne, and interviewed a number of those involved including Walton, Bob Lambert and Colin Black - the then-head of operations for the Metropolitan Police Special Branch.
According to Walton, the invitation to meet an undercover officer came from Bob Lambert, the then acting head of the Special Demonstration Squad; the meeting took place in the garden of his house in North London.
In his interview with Operation Herne, Lambert explained Walton's relation to the SDS at that moment:
- DI Walton was at that time one of our customers I suppose, he was a particular customer with a particular requirement because he was working directly for the Commissioner in relation to the Metropolitan Police response to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry… I also recall that ‘Pete Francis’s’ intelligence around the campaign was passed to DI Walton for the same purpose...
Lambert made a 'File Note' right after the meeting on 18 August 1998, which says that Walton presented himself as part of the Lawrence Review Team, and quoted him as having said that their
- in-depth discussion enabled [Mr Walton] to increase his understanding of the Lawrences' relationship with the various campaigning groups... of great value as he continued to prepare a draft submission to the inquiry on behalf of the Commissioner.
In 1998, the rationale was that groups were hijacking the Lawrence inquiry and part of the justification for the meeting was a concern was there would be public disorder. Walton told Ellison: "There was a lot of distortion going on in the public domain... that potentially the media was being manipulated by some of our extremists for their purposes." However, since the infiltrating of black campaigns for justice has been exposed by whistle-blower Peter Francis, the police claimed the spying had taken place to protect the families; the concern was that their case would be taken over by groups with a more radical agenda.
Walton changes his account
Richard Walton's memory of the meeting was vague when he was first interviewed about it, but reading Lambert's file note was refreshing: "Funnily enough, I could not remember this when [Operation Herne] asked me about it, but, having looked at the documentation here, I can recall it much more clearly..." and he continues to volunteer a detailed account of the meeting.
The extensive interview with Walton shows that as the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry proceeded, the reputation of the Metropolitan Police was a key concern and that a well-positioned undercover officer - such as Peter Francis or N81 - was helpful:
- I remember the meeting being helpful, particularly around (N81’s group and another group) because there were genuine concerns around them... We were concerned on the Lawrence Review Team about extremism undermining the Inquiry, etc. etc. So when I went for this meeting and there was discussion about it, this operative was able to shed light on this group and what they were about, which, basically, I seem to remember completely correlated with our assessment... that there were core elements... potentially trying to... in those days we called it entryism.
During his first interview with the Ellison Inquiry, in October 2013, Walton confirmed the official record of the meeting and his role in the Met's Lawrence Review Team. However, on learning that he was to be criticised in the Ellison Report, he changed his story. In a statement to Ellison in February 2014 he said he had not worked on the Commissioner’s submission to the Macpherson Inquiry at the time of the disputed meeting. He claimed that his meeting with N81 was solely in his capacity as a member of the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force, set up to restore relationships with black communities after the Inquiry was finished.
However, Ellison talked to other relevant people serving in the police and examined Walton employment records, concluding that that at most there may have been an overlap between Walton's final weeks at the Lawrence Review Team and the start of the new team that took several weeks to get of the ground - both located at the same corridor of the Commissioner's office.
It is clear from the Review that author Mark Ellison was very unhappy with Walton's attempt to change his account, and took the extraordinary step to include the full transcriptions of interviews held with Walton in his report. He called Walton's position "less than straightforward to establish and somewhat troubling" and decided that the official record was a “more reliable description of what happened at the meeting that Mr Walton's altered version of events”. Nor does Ellison believe that public order disturbance was the motivation for the meeting, and put it to Walton that rather the reputation of the Met was at stake.
In his report, Ellison said he was seriously concerned about the meeting occuring, characterising it as 'wrong-headed and inappropriate'. He provides a detailed overview of Walton's actions, quoted here at length:
- We find therefore that, on a balance of probabilities, on 14 August 1998, DI Walton was not so completely detached from the Lawrence Review Team that his visit to see this undercover officer was concerned only with another function in CO24.
- Mr Walton has maintained throughout, however, and we accept, that the meeting was not his idea, but a request from a more senior officer in the SDS. We also accept that he agreed to the meeting without any detailed knowledge of the actual role and intelligence gathered by the undercover officer.
- It follows that we accept that Mr Walton may well have simply taken up the invitation without realising that he was going to meet an undercover officer who was positioned close to the Lawrence family campaign.
- We are also prepared to accept that these events suggest a degree of ‘naivety’ on his part, rather than a coherent plan to achieve some real advantage in relation to the MPS submissions to the Inquiry.
- Mr Walton does not remember asking anyone about whether he ought to go to the meeting, or telling anyone that he had been to the meeting. In so far as we have been able to enquire, no one has indicated that they knew about him going.
- We have found no evidence to indicate that what Mr Walton discovered from N81 at the meeting was actually incorporated into or used towards the final submissions made on behalf of the MPS.
- Nevertheless, on 14 August 1998, during the break between the end of the evidence received by the Public Inquiry and final submissions being presented, a meeting took place between an undercover officer deployed into an activist group engaged with the Lawrence family campaign and an MPS officer appointed to assist the MPS in formulating its submissions to the Inquiry.
- In our view, such a meeting was wholly inappropriate.
- Given the contested issues at the Public Inquiry as to the honesty, integrity and openness of the MPS, and the disputes as to the true causes of the seriously flawed investigation of Stephen Lawrence’s murder, the objective impression created by any public revelation of the fact of such a meeting could only have been dire for the MPS. It would have been seen as the MPS trying to achieve some secret advantage in the Inquiry from SDS undercover deployment.
- There was no conceivable ‘public order’ justification for this meeting. Nor was there any other discernible public benefit, and certainly none that could possibly outweigh the justifiable public outrage that would follow if the fact of the meeting had been made public when the Inquiry resumed in September 1998. In our opinion, serious public disorder of the very kind so feared by the MPS might well have followed.
IPCC Investigation: Suspension and Retirement
Suspension following Ellison Review (2014)
On 7 March 2014, within a day after the publication of the Ellison Report and the Herne Report, it was also announced that Walton was to be 'temporarily removed' as head of the Metropolitan Police's Counter-Terrorism Command and transferred to a 'non-operational' role,  while MPs such as David Lammy called for his outright suspension.
The case was referred to the IPCC, which on 2 June 2014 announced it would start an investigation into 'discreditable conduct and breaches of honesty and integrity on the part of Commander Richard Walton' and the 'inconsistent accounts to Mr Ellison's review team regarding his actions'. Then-Detective Inspector Robert Lambert and the Operations Commander of Special Branch at the time Colin Black would be investigated for 'discreditable conduct' only - for their part in facilitating the meeting with the undercover officer. In response to the outcry, Walton said: 'I welcome any scrutiny of my role in these events over more than 16 years ago, including in the forthcoming public inquiry'.
On the announcement of the investigation, Scotland Yard took the decision - also in June - that Walton would be reinstated to full duties on 1 December 2014 - in the absence of any new information arriving from the IPCC. And so it happened, Walton was allowed to resume his role despite being still under investigation by the IPCC; in fact the first interviews of him, Lambert and Black would not take place until later that month.
In May 2015, the IPCC announced the investigation was not finished yet, but had instead been widened to include another two officers. Their names were not disclosed, though the IPCC described them as being “retired” Metropolitan Police officers who have been “identified within the management structure of the Special Demonstration Squad at the relevant time who may have some involvement or knowledge of the meeting with the undercover officer.”
In October 2015 Walton registers two websites, a personal and a company one, both of which he will use post retirement (see below).
Retirement ahead of IPCC report (2016)
On the day Walton retired, 20 January 2016, The Telegraph and the BBC wrote that the IPCC had decided that the commander has a 'case to answer' for misconduct and that it recommended disciplinary proceedings. His quitting was widely seen as 'dodging disciplinary action'; in the Daily Mail he was accused of covering up a secret ploy to spy on the Lawrence family. '[Walton] is on £110,000 a year and will be eligible for a lump sum pension payout of around £300,000 and index-linked income of £55,000 a year.' Walton said he had told the IPCC about his retirement - 'the date had been planned for 30 years' - and that it was "disappointing" the watchdog had taken nearly two years to conclude its report.
Both Stephen's father Neville Lawrence and his mother Baroness Lawrence have urged the Met to halt Cdr Walton's retirement. New Home Office measures prevent officers under investigation for gross misconduct resigning or retiring until the case has concluded. As Walton had only ever been 'temporarily removed from his duties' instead of suspended and was long back at his job, the Met claimed they could not stop him from leaving - the BBC wrote they 'refused to take action'.
It subsequently emerged that the IPCC had notified the Metropolitan Police on the 14 January that there was a case for misconduct to be had against Walton and Lambert over the controverial meeting. On the 19 January, the Metropolitan Police responded saying it disagreed, but the IPCC stated it stood by its findings. The following day Walton retired, apparently having previous indicated his intention to do so.
Also see: N81: IPCC investigation.
Walton and the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force
The Racial and Violent Crime Task Force (CO24) was the unit set up by the Metropolitan Police to combat the perception that it was not investigating racist crimes seriously. It was established by DAC John Grieve at the request of the Commissioner in August 1998 (though not formally announced until October 1998). Records from the MPS's Human Resources department show Walton joined the RVCTF in 5 October 1998 as an Acting Detective Inspector (A/DI); he was one of the first officers to take up a position there, though he only stayed for six months before becoming a detective inspector in Harrow.
While at C024, Walton wrote the policy document / report establishing 'Operation Spectrum', which was a plan to use 'undercover' Asian police officers who would target people racially abusing them at football matches. Other tactics were to include infiltration of right wing organisations, sting operations and the targeting of racist police. The report was subtitled "Menu of Strategic and Tactical Options for Combating Race/Hate Crime" and was to be launched on the same day that the Macpherson's report on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry was due for release. Operation Spectrum would have helped set the agenda for 'Operation Athena', the RCVTF's principle programme for targetting race and hate crime.
Mid-September 1998, Colin Black set up a route to channel information from the SDS to the C024 ? RVCTF; undercover officers from the Special Demonstration Squad had already been used to penetrate far right groups. It is of note that a number of other early officers with the RCVTF, and who served with Walton in that unit, such as DS Barry McDowell and Michael Fuller, had a Special Branch background as well.
In late 1998, with Walton still on the team, the RVCTF started to re-investigate the murders of Michael Menson and Lakhvinder "Ricky" Reel. In 2014 it was revealed and confirmed by the police that both the Menson and Reel families had been spied upon by the SDS. Walton would tell Ellison in October 2013 of a conversation he had with Colin Black in 1998,at that time head of Operations for Special Branch:
- I remember something to the effect of, ‘[...] we have got some coverage, as you can imagine, on the periphery around the Lawrence family, because we are concerned about extremist groups infiltrating the Lawrence campaign and we are also concerned about extremism on the back of the Lawrence campaign driving public order.’ So he said, ‘We need a conduit to ensure that anything we pick up, particularly from SDS, can be fed in to support your reinvestigations of Lawrence, of Menson and Ricky Reel... We need to be absolutely certain that John Grieve got the whole story and the whole picture. And, as you know, Richard, we have got good coverage’... That was the sort of conversation... ‘Are you comfortable with receiving intelligence related to SDS at this time?’ ‘Yes, I am, of course.’ ‘Look, we will do it, it will not be on paperwork, it will be personal briefings to you.’ I said, ‘That is fine’...
In January 1999, the RVCTF also took over the re-investigation of the Stephen Lawrence murder.
Career in Special Branch and Counter Terrorism
Walton's entire career as a police officer to date has been spent with the Metropolitan Police, much of which has been connected with Special Branch and related units. In 1989, three years after becoming a police officer, he joined Special Branch, "covering pretty much the whole range of SB activity". His RUSI profile states:
- He then served for five years in a variety of specialist roles including domestic extremism, Irish and International terrorism, close protection and the Anti-Terrorist Branch during the Provisional IRA bombings of the early 1990s. Over this period he was commended twice for preventing terrorist acts in the UK.
According to his statement to the Ellison Review, "he had never been attached to the SDS and he never worked as an undercover officer". Though, at the next page in the Ellison Report, Walton stated he 'worked extensively' with Colin Black, the Operations Commander of Special Branch, and also knew Bob Lambert. He appears to have left on being promoted to Detective Sergeant in 1995.
Following his stint as part of the Lawrence Review Team he was an early member of the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force (RVCTF) under Commander John Grieve. The RVCTF included a number of former Special Branch officers and maintained close working relationship with that unit. Grieve himself had previously been the Metropolitan Police's first Director of Intelligence. (In May 2000 - after Walton had left - Grieve authorised the bugging of the offices of Jane Deighton, the lawyer of Stephen Lawrence's friend Duwayne Brooks, ahead of a meeting with them. )
Walton left the RVCTF after just six months, in March 1999, and appears to have continued his career away from Special Branch related work for more than a decade (see below for career details). After two years as Staff Officer to Commissioner Paul Stephenson, he was appointed as head of Counter Terrorism Command in June 2011.
In his new role, Walton is one of the leading policing officers in the UK responsible for counter-terrorism policing. This unit, also known as SO15, had been formed out of the amalgamation of Metropolitan Police Special Branch with Anti-Terrorist Branch. As such it continues to control policing functions traditionally associated with Special Branch operations, including intelligence gathering and operations on political groups. Another of the units now under his command is the rump of the National Domestic Extremism Unit, which in January 2011 had been stripped of its powers to run undercover officers. However, it still exists in an intelligence gathering capacity, collating material on protest groups. As such, when he was suspended for his role in spying on black justice campaigns in 1998, his current responsibilities still include similar tasks.
Walton and the policing of 'jihadism'
At present, the focus of anti-terrorism includes issues of radicalisation, 'jihadism' and the risk of terrorist attacks in the UK. In his first interview - three years into his new job - Walton explained that the Met is trying to divert would-be combatants away from radicalisation through the government’s Channel programme, and appealed for further assistance from British Muslims to "safeguard their children". He warned that British going to Syria to fight would be arrested upon return and that the police had operations in place against those facilitating people to travel. In February 2015, shortly after he was re-instated, Walton made a public appeal for information on the three school girls who took off from the UK to Islamic State territory in Syria.
Walton has also supported a proposal for new regulations to be introduced after the 2013 murder of soldier Lee Rigby, which would include greater powers to disperse demonstrations and to ban groups whose members had been previously linked with already banned 'extremist groups'. Walton said he had no problems with curbing civil liberties such as restricting venues from hosting 'extremist speakers' and placing restrictions on such individuals, though he claimed police would use such powers 'carefully and proportionately'.
Retiring in January 2016 (see above), Walton used the occasion to praise Muslims in London for coming forward to help the fight against extremism. Saying only the support of communities could foil attacks inspired by Islamist ideology, he insisted that the much critisised anti-radicalisation Prevent programme works, citing 600 referals a month. Claiming that during the 2012 London Olympics there were “one or two successful operations” to foil plots to attack the Games, he described 2015 as one of the busiest years ever for anti-terror policing. He spoke of 600 operations running in the UK targeting hundreds of individuals. He also explained that the increasing use of encrypted communications in terrorism cases requires substantial undercover operations - some of which 'quite lengthy'.
Walton appears as a minor player in the phone-hacking scandal that brought down the News of the World newspapers and also cost his boss, Paul Stephenson his job as Commissioner. At the time Walton was his Staff Officer, responsible for managing his private office. Walton appears twice in the documents released by the Leveson Inquiry. He is named in the minutes of a 'gold level' meeting chaired by John Yates, held on 9 July 2009. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the response to allegations in the Guardian claiming that phone-hacking by national newspapers was much wider than the Metropolitan Police had acknowledged. The meeting decided to maintain that there was nothing further to discover and thus no need to re-open investigations into phone-hacking (this would be overturned in 2011). In a list of meetings between Commissioner Paul Stephenson and editors / senior journalists released during the Leveson Inquiry, Walton appears only once, as the contact for a Breakfast meeting between Stephenson and Charles Moore, editor of the Telegraph on 26 January 2010.
Operation Creel (blacklisting)
In April 2012, MP George Howarth wrote to the MPS on behalf of a constituent who had been blacklisted by The Consulting Association and stating that there had been police collusion with this. In response, SO15 Counter Terrorism Command set up Operation Creel to investigate the complaint. According to the Operation Reuben report Walton, then head of SO15, closed down Operation Creel when it concluded 'there were a number of alternative sources for such information, combined with little evidence of any SO15/MPSB involvement’. Operation Reuben, a later similar investigation under the aegis of Operation Herne would adopt the same conclusions in 2016. Walton did though recommend to the then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe, that further investigation be taken up by the Directorate of Professional Standards, but this proposal was not taken up.
- 1986: Joined the Metropolitan Police Service.
- 1989 - 1995: Special Branch (see above).
- 1995: Promoted to Detective Sergeant.
- 1998: Asked to be a member Lawrence Review Team (he was on the accelerated promotion scheme), where he would be supervised by Bob Quick, who in turn was answering to AC Ian Johnston.
- 5 October 1998: Posted to CO24 as a Detective Inspector (according to Met Human Resources Posting and Rank records).
- March 1999: At rank of Detective Inspector, he is posted to Harrow.
- 2000 - 2001: Head of CID for Camden, where he is also a director of Camden Victim Support (May 2000 - May 2001).
- 2001 - 2003: Headed up Project Sapphire, the Metropolitan Police's high profile operation to target rape and sexual assault, including rolling out dedicated teams ("Sapphire units") in each London borough. He held rank of Detective Chief Inspector and was based at New Scotland Yard. In this project he worked with Dep. Assist. Commissioner Tim Godwin, and the ACPO lead for Project Sapphire was Bob Quick..
- Between 2002 and 2006: served at Paddington Green and Stoke Newington.
- July 2006: According to his RUSI profile:
- During the London underground bombings of 2005, he co-ordinated the police counter terrorism response in COBR, the government’s crisis centre. He subsequently undertook a review that recommended the merging of Special Branch with the Anti-Terrorist Branch leading to the creation of the Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) in 2006.
- 2005/6-2007: Deputy Borough Commander for Barnet, with rank of Detective Superintendent. Here he served under Ch. Supt. Stephen Kavanagh.
- July 2009: Staff Officer (chief of staff) to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson. Duties included 'speech writing, foreign travel, stakeholder management'.
- May/June 2011: Appointed Commander of Counter-Terrorism Command (SO15), serving directly under DAC Stuart Osborne (Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism) and AC Cressida Dick (head of Specialist Operations). As head of Counter Terrorism Command he has an annual wage of £110,000.
- 2012: As head of CTC/SO15 he had responsibility for counter-terrorism policing during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
- 2013 - 2014: Oversees a focus within Counter-Terrorism Command on British citizens who have joined the civil war in Syria as jihadists (and those who facilitated their going to Syria), who were considered a risk of returning to the UK to carry out attacks there.
- 7 March 2014: Suspended from the Counter Terrorism Command.
- 2014: Decision taken to restore Walton in December 2014 if no news from the IPCC would be received.
- 1 December 2014: Restored to his post as head of the Counter Terrorism Command (before he was interviewed by the IPCC).
- December 2014: Interviewed by the IPCC in the investigation against him.
- May 2015: IPCC announcement of widening the investigation.
- 14 January 2016: IPCC notify Metropolitan Police there is a misconduct case to be had against Walton and Lambert.
- 19 January 2016: Metropolitan Police reject IPCC's position, but the IPCC reply saying they are standing by it.
- 20 January 2016: Walton retires after 30 years of service, apparently having already given notice of his intention to do so. There are unsuccessful calls to have this prevented from the Lawrence family.
The same month he left the police, Walton took up a position as a consultant on Counter Terrorism for CBS News and was also appointed a Senior Associate Fellow with the Royal United Services Insitute for Defence Studies (RUSI).
On 29 January 2016 he established his own company, Counter Terrorism Global Ltd (no. 9977247), of which he is the sole director. Its website at CounterTerrorism.global offers materials and consultancy on counter-terrorism and counter-extremism, as well as training in counter terrorism event security & investigation and as counter terrorism security advisors He was later joined in this venture by Marshall Kent, who had headed Protective Security Operations for the Metropolitan Police from 2013 to 2016.
Walton also has a personal website, RichardWalton.global, also used to promote his activities, listing him as a 'Independent consultant, writer and speaker on counter terrorism.' Specific activities include acting as a strategic advisor on law enforcement and major event security, and as a regular speaker at conferences. He has also authored various articles including several times for The Telegraph.
The domain-names for both websites were registered while Walton was still a serving police officer: RichardWalton.global on 9 October 2015, and CounterTerrrorism.global on 30 October 2015 While his business, Counter Terrorism Global Ltd (no. 09977247) was formally incorporated on 29 January 2016.
In 2019, Walton was a Senior Fellow of right wing political think-tank Policy Exchange, where he authored a number of reports and articles throughout that year, including a July 2019 report into environmental protest group, Extinction Rebellion which he characterised as an extremist anarchist group. Following its release he appeared in a number of media outlets including Radio 4, justifying this position and for which he came in for criticism, including questions over who funded the report.
His biography on Policy Exchange website notes that he continues as a Distinguished Fellow at RUSI, commentator for CBS News and remains a Director of his company Counter Terrorism Global Ltd. It also stated:
- He has traveled extensively to countries affected by terrorism, providing advice to governments in South and South-East Asia, the Middle East and East Africa. He lectures in the UK and is a regular key note speaker at international conferences on counter-terrorism and counter-extremism.
Education & publications
- Plymouth College, 1976-84.
- BSc Hons. in Policing and Police Studies, Portsmouth University 1993-1995.
- MSc in International Relations, London School of Economics, 2004.
- Author: 'Securing safety at Euros 2016 and Rio Olympics', CTC Sentinel, 6 June 2016.
- Co-author with Tom Wilson: Islamophobia – Crippling Counter Terrorism, Policy Exchange, 29 April 2019
- Co-author with Tom Wilson: Extremism Rebellion: Extinction Rebellion has mainstreamed the politics of a radical fringe, Policy Exchange, 16 July 2019
- 2000 - 2001: a director of Camden Victim Support
- 2001: Founder & Trustee of the Christian charity The Educational Frontier Trust, which works with schoolchildren in northern Kenya. As part of his work with it, he has organised various fund raising events and in 2007 he 'guided and managed the production of a film entitled "The story of Kisima"'. He has been chair of the trust since 2015.
- January 2016: Senior Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Insitute for Defence Studies.
Additional UndercoverResearch resources
- N81: Profile from the Ellison Report,
- N81: Meeting with the Lawrence Review Team
- N81: IPCC investigation
- N81: File Notes SDS
- Lawrence Review Team
- The Ellison Review Full title: The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review, Possible corruption and the role of undercover policing in the Stephen Lawrence case. Vol. 1. March 2014.
- Operation Herne Full title: Operation Herne, Report 2, Allegations of Peter Francis, March 2014.
- Rob Evans, Police facing claims that senior officers knew about spying on Stephen Lawrence family, The Guardian, 2 July 2015.
- For background reading on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry see Brian Cathcart, 'The Case of Stephen Lawrence', Penguin Books, 2000; and Richard Stone, 'Hidden Stories of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry: Personal reflections', Policy Press, 2013.
- Mark Ellison QC, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review: Summary of Findings, Home Office, 6 March 2013 (accessed 1 April 2014),.
- Stephen Wright, Police chief accused of covering up secret ploy to spy on the family of murdered Stephen Lawrence dodges disciplinary action by retiring, Daily Mail, 15 January 2016 (accessed 16 January 2016).
- Martin Evans, Former Met boss retired days after report found he had case to answer in Stephen Lawrence probe, The Telegraph, 2 March 2016 (accessed April 2018)
- Nathan Hall, John Grieve, Stephen Savage (editors), Policing and the Legacy of Lawrence, Routledge, 2009.
- Mark Ellison QC, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review: Volume One, Home Office, 6 March 2013 (accessed 1 April 2014), p.266.
- Mark Ellison, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review, UK Government, 6 March 2014, Vol. 1, p.233.
- Mark Ellison, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review, UK Government, 6 March 2014, Vol. 1, p.250.
- Mark Ellison, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review, UK Government, 6 March 2014, Vol. 1, p.234.
- Stephen Lawrence - Chronology of Events, BBC News Online, undated, (accessed 5 June 2015).
- The Ellison Report quotes the interview Herne had with Lambert; the interview is not in the Herne Report. Mark Ellison QC, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review: Volume One, Home Office, 6 March 2013 (accessed 1 April 2014), p.231.
- Mark Ellison QC, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review: Volume One, Home Office, 6 March 2013 (accessed 1 April 2014), p.264.
- Mark Ellison QC, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review: Volume One, Home Office, 6 March 2013 (accessed 1 April 2014), p.236.
- Mark Ellison QC, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review: Volume One, Home Office, 6 March 2013 (accessed 1 April 2014), p.265.
- Cahal Milmo Stephen Lawrence murder investigation: Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer removed from post following Met Police spying revelations, The Independent, 8 March 2014.
- Peter Dominiczak Counter terror boss moved from role over Stephen Lawrence disclosures, The Telegraph, 7 March 2014. Accessed 8 March 2014.
- Independent Police Complaints Commission, IPCC investigating Metropolitan Police Service Commander and two others following Mark Ellison QC review, 2 June 2014, accessed 28 May 2015
- Stephen Wright, Michael Seamark and Claire Elliott, Terror chief axed in Lawrence row: Commander named in damning report is first head to roll, Mail Online, 7 March 2014. Accessed 8 March 2014.
- Press Association, Terror police chief in Stephen Lawrence ‘spying’ row back on duty next month, The Guardian, 31 October 2014, accessed 28 May 2015
- Independent Police Complaints Commission, Update on investigation involving MPS Commander and others following Mark Ellison QC review, 27 May 2015, accessed 28 May 2015
- Rob Evans, Inquiry into alleged police plot to spy on Stephen Lawrence family expanded, The Guardian, 27 May 2015, accessed 28 May 2015
- Rob Evans, [http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/undercover-with-paul-lewis-and-rob-evans/2016/jan/22/report-into-stephen-lawrence-spying-claims-expected-to-be-published-soon Report into Stephen Lawrence spying claims expected to be published soon, The Guardian, 22 January 2016
- BBC News, Stephen Lawrence murder: Met refuses Cdr Richard Walton action, 20 January 2016 (accessed January 2016)
- IPCC publishes investigation report about meeting with undercover officer, Independent Police Complaints Commission, 2 March 2016.
- Mark Ellison QC, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review: Volume One, Home Office, 6 March 2013 (accessed 1 April 2014), p.251. However, Walton, has claimed he was not promoted to full Detective Inspector rank until he was posted to Harrow in March 1999 (p. 243).
- Jason Bennetto & Kathy Marks, Asian decoys to trap racists, The Independent, 11 February 1999 (accessed 15 June 2015).
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- First black chief constable welcomed, BBC News Online, 27 September 2003 (accessed 15 June 2015).
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- Mark Ellison QC, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review: Volume One, Home Office, 6 March 2013 (accessed 1 April 2014), p.235.
- James McKillop, Lawrence case officer replaced Inquiry questions detective's role, The (Scottish) Herald, 30 Jan 1999 (accessed 15 June 2015).
- Richard Walton senior associate fellow, Royal United Services Institute (rusi.org), 2017 (accessed 28 July 2017).
- In 1999 it took part into a "giant task force to target right-wing hate mail that had seen a large upsurge in the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry". Set up by Denis O'Connor, then an assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, it also included: "SO13 - our anti-terrorist squad - together with our organised crime group and our special branch". Source: UK Police tackle race hate 'upsurge', BBC News Online, 6 May 1999. Accessed 8 March 2014.
- Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Police admit bugging Stephen Lawrence murder witness , The Guardian, 5 July 2013 (accessed 5 June 2015).
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- Justin davenport, Anti-terror chief praises Muslims ‘for helping keep London safe’, 20 January 2016 (accessed January 2016)
- Paul Cruickshank, A View from the CT Foxhole: An Interview with Richard Walton, Head, Counter Terrorism Command, London Metropolitan Police, 19 January 2016 (accessed January 2016
- Metropolitan Police Service, Summary of Meeting: Response to Guardian article re phone tapping, 9 June 2009 (accessed 5 June 2015).
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- Compilation of diary entries involving contact with the media / Diary of Sir Paul Stephenson covering the period 01/01/2009 to 19/7/2011 whilst Commissioner, Leveson Inquiry, undated (accessed 5 June 2015). For an overview of Operation Weeting see Wikipedia. On 29 January 2010, Charles Moore has an article in the Telegraph discussing the Metropolitan Police's approach to counter-terrorism and calling for greater use of profiling - see Charles Moore You cannot stop the terrorist threat if you are unable to profile it, Daily Telegraph, 29 January 2010 (accessed 5 June 2015).
- Dónal O’Driscoll, Operation Reuben Unpicked: police involvement in blacklisting (part 2), SpecialBranchFiles.uk, June 2019 (accessed 11 October 2019)
- Operation Reuben report (partially redacted), Metropolitan Police Service, 2016 (accessed via SpecialBranchFiles.uk).
- Whitehall Dialogue: Defeating Terrorism through the Rule of Law - Reflections on the British Model of Counter Terrorism Policing, Royal United Services Institute website, February 2014. Accessed 8 March 2014.
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- Camden Victim Support - Directors and Secretaries, CompanyCheck.co.uk, undated (accessed 7 June 2015).
- A search of newspaper articles from the time indicates that he was in place by December 2001 and was still head of the unit in July 2003.
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- MPS Project Sapphire Action Strategy Plan 2002-2003, Metropolitan Police Authority online archive. Accessed 8 March 2014.
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- In place by March 2006: see Lawrence Marzouk, Police response times target missed, ThisIsLocalLondon.co.uk, 19 March 2006 (accessed 5 June 2015).
- Of note is that this was at the time of large Tamil protests in London calling for international intervention in Sri Lanka due to the conflict there between the government and Tamil rebels with allegations of genocide. Harrow had a significant Tamil community and many of its officers were being used to police the protests in central London. Source: Tristan Kirk, Tamil protest 'taking police off streets of Harrow', ThisIsLocalLondon.co.uk, 20 May 2009 (accessed 5 June 2015).
- Metropolitan Police Authority, MPA appoints new six Metropolitan Police Commanders, press release, 22 June 2011. Accessed 8 March 2014. Note: Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin acted as police adviser to the interview board.
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- RichardWalton.global, Who.is, search conducted 26 July 2017.
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- Richard Walton & Tom Wilson, Extremism Rebellion: Extinction Rebellion has mainstreamed the politics of a radical fringe, Policy Exchange, 16 July 2019 (accessed 28 September 2019).
- Adam Ramsay, Think tank won’t reveal who paid for report calling Extinction Rebellion ‘extremists’, OpenDemocracy.net, 18 July 2019 (accessed 28 September 2019).
- Richard Walton: Senior Fellow, Policy Exchange, undated (accessed 29 September 2019).
- The Educational Frontier Trust, Trustees, undated (accessed 5 June 2015).
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