WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
April 19 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
Search
Close this search box.

Criticism mounts of a ‘flawed’ nine-page report into corrupt officer Derek Ridgewell

Criticism mounts of a ‘flawed’ nine-page report into corrupt officer Derek Ridgewell

Disgraced: DS Derek Ridgewell

An inquiry into the actions of the notorious corrupt British Transport Police Officer, Derek Ridgewell, has been criticised for running to just nine pages.

 

The Mirror obtained a copy of the report by the Force which has been described as ‘flawed’, and fails to reckon with the extent of Ridgewell’s crimes. Many documents that are of vital important to uncovering the actions of Ridgewell and his co-conspirators had already been destroyed. The author of the report said: ‘It is unfortunate the relevant records are no longer available as I have been unable to identify further cases’.

Matt Foot, Director of the legal charity APPEAL, said BTP’s probe goes ‘nowhere near enough’, and accuses the force of not examining all the available internal records that would uncover the full extent of the scandal.

Derek Ridgewell died in prison aged 37 in 1982, but lawyers say there may be more victims of his corruption that this limited report has failed to identify. Two men, Saliah Mehmet and Basil Peterkin, who were framed by a disgraced British Transport Police (BTP) officer, had their unsafe convictions quashed posthumously in 2023, ending a 46-year miscarriage of justice following a Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) investigation.

Ridgewell’s racism and corruption led to the prosecution of the Oval Four and Stockwell Six in the 1970s. In 2021 the British Transport Police issued a formal apology to the British African community for ‘systemic racism’ relating to these convictions and their failure to prevent racism and corruption within the force. As reported on the Justice Gap, the convictions of the Oval Four and Stockwell Six have been overturned by the Court of Appeal following referrals by the CCRC.

Deputy Chief Constable Alistair Sutherland, told The Mirror: ‘We are profoundly sorry to everyone affected by DS Ridgewell’s atrocious actions in the 1970s and the trauma that victims and their families suffered as a result.

‘In 2020 we undertook a review into the background service history of DS Derek Ridgewell. As a result of this review and our contact with the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), we identified seven officers associated with Ridgewell. Additionally two officers DC Ellis and DC Keeling also received convictions for their involvement in criminality with DS Ridgewell… As a force we are truly disgusted by the actions of Derrick Ridgewell. We cannot change our past, but we can certainly learn from it.

‘In January this year we launched a further operation bringing together senior leaders and detectives from across the force to establish if there is anything else we can do to identify further individuals who are victims of miscarriage of justice. The team will be working closely with the CCRC to establish if there are any other potential means of locating information or records from that time.’