Flanagan says he supports officer


The RUC Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, has said he has every confidence in one of his officers who was severely criticised in the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. Chief Insp Jonathan McIvor was the most senior uniformed officer to attend the scene in south-east London where the black teenager was killed in a racist attack six years ago.

He is now serving as an RUC superintendent in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. He was not available for comment yesterday. The inquiry team, led by Sir William Macpherson, concluded that he deserved criticism for failures on five key areas of his responsibility.

The report highlighted his "failure to obtain full information on the incident". It found he had failed to co-ordinate activities at the scene of the crime and to "command and direct resources". He was criticised for his "failure to record activities personally and to ensure that there was some form of log of activities taking place for those who would subsequently take command".

Mr McIvor (43) was born in Northern Ireland. His father, Basil, is a retired magistrate.

He left the Metropolitan Police after the killing to return to the North where he took up a high-ranking post as officer in charge of the RUC's training centre at Garnerville. Last month he was promoted to sub-divisional commander of "L" Division in Enniskillen.

Mr McIvor indicated to the Lawrence inquiry team that his presence at the murder scene was superfluous. However, the report stated: "This is a matter of considerable surprise, since we regard Mr McIvor as an important person in the chain of command.

"As the senior divisional uniformed officer on duty it is our view that Mr McIvor was the man who ought to have taken charge and ensured that there was co-ordination and correlation between those present as to the steps which were being taken at the time."

Sir Ronnie Flanagan said Mr McIvor had always fulfilled his duties with distinction. The RUC Chief Constable acknowledged that he had faced criticism but said he had fulfilled a number of posts with responsibility since joining the RUC in 1994.