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Saturday, 27 April, 2002, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Damilola case remains open
CCTV footage
CCTV footage captured Damilola's last movements
The police investigation into who murdered Damilola Taylor will remain open.

But an inquiry will seek to learn lessons from the case following the acquittal of two brothers for the 10-year-old boy's death.

Lord Harris
Lord Harris: Lessons will be learned

The assurances were given by the Lord Toby Harris, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

He said young people in Peckham, London, had been too frightened of gangs to co-operate with police.

On Thursday, an Old Bailey jury found two brothers- who cannot be named for legal reasons - not guilty of murder, manslaughter and assault with intent to rob.

Evidence needed

Lord Harris told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The police have no more evidence, no more information that could conceivably add to a case or amount to something new."

But he said if any new information turned up, it would be pursued.

He revealed that several weeks ago, as the trial continued, he had discussed the holding of an inquiry with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir John Stevens.

Damilola Taylor
Damilola bled to death in a stairwell in November 2000
He said it was vital the case be re-examined with the benefit of hindsight.

"Just to see if anything could have been done differently that could have led to a different result," he said.

Damilola bled to death in the stairwell of a block of flats on the North Peckham estate more than two years ago.

Senior detectives not involved in the case will take part in an inquiry.

But Lord Harris said the fight against crime had to start as early as primary school.

Gang culture

"The police came across young people who were more frightened of gang culture in their area than they were frightened of not telling the truth in this particular instance," he said.

On a more positive note he said police and community liaison had improved following the inquiry into the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

But while adults had been prepared to co-operate with police on the Peckham estate in the Damilola case, it was difficult to gain the trust of young people, said Lord Harris.

Sir John Stevens is establishing a panel to examine the Damilola case and how vulnerable witnesses and defendants are handled.

A separate inquiry will review the way in which the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) handled the case.

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