Monday, February 1, 1999 Published at 15:02 GMT
Police ready for Lawrence inquiry criticism
John Grieve: "Yes, we have got racism"
The detective now heading the investigation into the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence says the Metropolitan Police are prepared to "take a beating" from the public inquiry into the case.
He said: "We will take our beating in the next couple of weeks as we ought to do."
But he added: "There are wider issues for society here. Somebody ought to look seriously at the spiritual sickness in our society."
"Doreen and Neville Lawrence have done wonderful things for the country and for our communities here in London," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"It's a tribute to Doreen and Neville and what they have achieved."
Mr and Mrs Lawrence, have argued that the police's flawed handling of the investigation led to the failure to convict anyone for the crime.
'Have to move on'
And Mr Grieve conceded the Metropolitan police had serious flaws.
"Yes, we have got racism, yes we have got racists, yes, some of our policies are outright discriminatory."
"We have to move on. We are looking at new ways of dealing with these kinds of crime."
Mr Grieve took over as head of the Lawrence investigation last week after Detective Superintendent Albert Patrick was removed as a result of an unrelated corruption inquiry at the Flying Squad's offices in east London.
There is no suggestion that Mr Patrick was implicated in the alleged corruption being investigated at the Flying Squad offices, but it is understood he is faces disciplinary charges relating to alleged lack of supervision of officers under him.
Mr Grieve is already investigating other high-profile racist crimes, including the murder of black musician Michael Menson.