A guide to the do’s and don’t’s of investigating if a comrade was an undercover police officer is released today,
In this 24 page booklet, we have brought together all the lessons we have learned to help you do your own investigation.
It covers how to start investigating and the sorts of questions that need answering. Equally importantly, we discuss how to support each other or deal with situations which are inconclusive. It takes you through the process step by step, so even if you have already started your own investigation there is help with what to do once you have come to a conclusion.
Supporting each other
The Undercover Research Project aims to create an one-stop resource on political policing and undercover surveillance. This blog discusses the undermining of protest and dissent, to support others holding those responsible to account.
The actual profiles can be found at the Undercover Research Portal.
Temporary text-only copy of the profile of Christine Green – as the Powerbase host is currently down. (20 Feb: you may want to check Powerbase.info to see if it is back up.)
Christine Green is the cover name of an undercover police officer who served with the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad. She infiltrated animal rights in south and west London from early 1995 to late 1999 / early 2000, where she had succeeded the previous undercover officer, Andy “Van” Davey. Christine was active in hunt sabbing, London Animal Action and national grassroots campaigns. She is known to have had a relationship and been arrested at least one occasion though charges against her were dropped. It is believed that her cover name was constructed rather than stolen from that of a dead child.
In October 2013, suspicions that she was an undercover were publicly circulated, and this was only confirmed in late 2017, being publicly released by The Guardian and the Undercover Research Group in February 2018.
Note from Undercover Research Group: this article is a work in progress. If any reader recalls ‘Christine Green’ please get in touch. These events took place two decades ago, so all information is welcome even if to just corroborate what we know.
Christine was of slim build, just under average height (approx. 5′ 4″), wore glasses and had long, dark hair. When she was undercover she was in her late twenties or early thirties, apparently born in the early 1960s, so a little older than many in the animal rights scene in London. Continue reading
Dónal O’Driscoll and Eveline Lubbers, Undercover Research Group, 18 February 2018
Today we present the profile of ‘Christine Green’, a female undercover police officer who served with the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). From early 1995 to late 1999 /early 2000 she was active in hunt sabbing, London Animal Action and national grassroots campaigns. Around the time her deployment ended, she started a relationship with a well-known animal rights activist; they are still together.
Christine Green is one of the few female officers that we know of, and her time undercover fits the now well-established patterns and tradecraft that most of the spycops followed. A timeline of known undercovers in the London animal rights movement shows that she was one in a series of SDS officers infiltrating such groups in south and west London. Continue reading
Eveline Lubbers, Undercover Research Group, 10 February 2018.
The Undercover Policing Inquiry will reveal the real name of ‘Rick Gibson’, the undercover police officer who infiltrated the Troops Out Campaign and socialist group Big Flame 1974 – 1976. Gibson’s anonymity order was one of seven discussed at the Inquiry’s hearing last Monday at the Royal Court of Justice in London.
The worrying thing is that the Chair of the Inquiry, John Mitting, will only disclose it to ‘Mary’ – a woman the officer deceived into a relationship whilst undercover. Last month she came forward and issued a powerful statement asking for him to be named.
In doing so, Mitting creates a special category of ‘deserving victims’, and makes it a personal, rather than political right to know the real names of the spies.
This is not good, as there are – even within the Inquiry’s limited reasoning – plenty of reasons why Gibson’s name should be disclosed and his misconduct acknowledged in public. Even more disturbing is the fact that Mitting’s decision stems from an utterly conservative disposition, which makes you wonder whether he is the right man to chair an inquiry into institutional sexism within the police. Continue reading
Chart of communist parties in the UK in 1970s showing the INLSF / CWLB (ML)
Donal O’Driscoll, Undercover Research Group, 8 February 2018
Today the Undercover Policing Inquiry released the cover names of two undercovers who infiltrated the left wing groups in London in the early 1970s. Some details had been previously revealed by the Inquiry, but this was the first time we learned the names the pair used while undercover. This brings to five the number of undercover cover names revealed by the inquiry that had not already been know to campaigners.
Both the new officers were with the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). The dates of their deployments indicate that they were part of a second generation of undercovers, when the unit moved beyond its original targets – the anti Vietnam war protests – to look at all forms of political protest groups.
The two names are:
- “John Clinton” (HN343), who from 1971 to 1974 was with the International Socialists (I.S.).
- “Alex Sloan” (HN347), who from 1971 to 1973 infiltrated the Irish National Liberation Solidarity Front (INLSF)
The International Socialists, now better known as the Socialist Workers Party, were Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE, Public Interest Law Unit, 7 February 2018
The Scottish Justice Minister, Michael Matheson has today (Wednesday 7 February 2018) has announced that he will not be calling for a public inquiry into undercover political policing in Scotland. This is despite the fact that a report from the HMICS lists serious undercover political policing by the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the national Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) in Scotland.
In his statement to the Scottish Parliament he noted that undercover political policing had taken place north of the border. Yet, he has refused the need for a public inquiry – stating that there was a lack of evidence of undercover political policing, and that calling a public inquiry was not proportionate and too costly.
It is accepted that during the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005, the Metropolitan Police sent SDS and NPOIU undercover officers into Scotland to spy on activists. It also talks of a wider ‘cadre’ (pt.176) where these Scottish officers? Amongst these officers was known undercover officer Mark Kennedy, who had, between 2003 and 2010, infiltrated numerous campaign groups and had formed intimate relationships with women, and Carlo Neri who had targeted a woman known publicly as ‘Andrea’, and had been welcomed into her Scottish family.
Additionally officers from Scotland where seconded to national agencies. (pt.169) Where they based in Scotland? Was there a Unit in Scotland?
The report from the HMCIS only scratches the surface of the extent of undercover political policing in Scotland. This is even something the authors of the HMICS report accept – “…it is our assessment that the information provided in our report as it relates to the NPOIU deployments to Scotland should be considered as provisional and not conclusive.” (pt.170)
Only a public inquiry would be and can be inquisitorial and conclusive. Continue reading
Eveline Lubbers, Undercover Research Group, 30 January 2017
Rick Gibson was an early officer in the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), the Metropolitan Police’s specialist political undercover unit set up in 1968. We published his profile last year revealing how he infiltrated the Troops Out Movement and Big Flame in the mid-1970s, and how he was unmasked by his comrades back in the day. The Undercover Policing Inquiry confirmed his identity in August 2017.
At the November hearings of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, the Undercover Research Group was able to reveal that Gibson had been in relationships with at least two, and maybe as many as four women. This was important in demonstrating that, far from the Inquiry’s presumption of it being a later development, sexual targeting was standard practice from quite early on.
But rather than trying to get to the bottom of this as he suggested he would at the hearing, the Chair of the Inquiry refused to release Gibson’s real name without any of the deceived women requesting it. He said he wished to receive ‘plausible statements’ from the women mentioned.
Probably better be careful what you ask for, as we found a hell of a woman. She had the courage to come forward, and her statement is extremely powerful. Continue reading
An outrageous aspect of the Undercover Policing Inquiry is that it will not examine the activities of undercover police officers in Scotland. This despite their presence there on numerous occasions being well established, including in relationships with those they were targeting. We at the Undercover Research Group have worked to help show the extent to which this happened and firmly believe that it is vital that the presence of spycops in Scotland needs to be investigated if the full truth is to come out.
Campaigners in Scotland have been successful in getting permission for a judicial review about the exclusion of Scotland from the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference. However, despite this, the Scottish Legal Aid Board is refusing the necessary funding for this to continue. So, they are asking people to contact the Scottish Justice Minister, Michael Matheson, to get the legal aid decision reversed, and need all our help in this. Please go here for more information and to send Matheson an email on this matter.
Debenham’s Luton branch, July 1987
Repost of Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, 22 January 2018.
Also see this advice and please share it: Don’t talk to the police investigating themselves!
Once again, police self-investigations have been contacting activists who were spied on, asking for co-operation.
The latest activity centres around Operation Sparkler/Operation Nitrogen, which is examining evidence that undercover police officer Bob Lambert planted incendiary devices in the Harrow branch of Debenham’s in 1987. Continue reading
STATEMENT ABOUT ONGOING POLICE INVESTIGATIONS
INTO UNDERCOVER POLICING OPERATIONS
There have been a number of incidences recently of the police contacting victims of spycops infiltration directly to ask them to co-operate with ongoing investigations related to their undercover operations.
Being contacted by the police can be intimidating and isolating, particularly for people affected by abuses of police power. We therefore want to make the following points clear for anyone who finds themselves in that situation:
You are under no obligation to talk to the police
You are not alone
We have no confidence in the police investigating their own wrongdoing. These operations, Herne and Nitrogen/Sparkler, are conducted by the Metropolitan Police who have a poor history of honestly investigating themselves. Continue reading
Dónal O’Driscoll, Undercover Research Group, 16 January 2018
Yesterday, the Undercover Policing Inquiry, examining Britain’s political police, released the third of its “Minded-To” notes from Chair Sir John Mitting, setting out his intentions on a few of the applications for anonymity by former spycops. If Mitting doesn’t change his mind, we can expect the release of the cover names of another five undercovers and the names of several managers / back office staff from the units that infiltrated political groups from 1968 onwards. Which in itself is relatively good news.
More secrecy around spying on the Lawrences