The spycops’ supervisors who remain accountable

Undercoverinfo logoAfter the unreserved apology of the Metropolitan Police to the eight women conceding undercover relationships were an abuse of power and violated women’s human rights, Tom Coburg did an overview of the supervisors responsible for the #spycops, their tasking and their behaviour – based on Undercover Research profiles.

Repost of Undercoverinfo blog, by Tom Coburg, originally 20 November 2015

The undercover officers with whom the women had relationships were employed by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). Four of these officers worked within the MPS’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). Other officer worked within the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU).

  • Detective Chief Inspector Richard May: described in newspaper articles as Mark Kennedy‘s boss while at the NPOIU. He is noted for confirming to French police that the NDEU had intelligence related to the Tarnac case, which is thought to have come from Kennedy’s attendance at a 2008 meeting of European anarchists in France. However, he also told police that the ‘source of this intelligence will never be revealed and no formal statements will be provided’.

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Police Apology for Relationships: Where Next?

Repost of Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, 23 November 2015

L-R: Kate Wilson, Helen Steel, Belinda Harvey and their lawyer Harriet Wistrich at their press conference, 20 November 2015 (Pic: Danny Shaw, BBC)

It’s an extraordinary statement by any standards. Even when the police pay large compensation, they usually do so with no admission of culpability for anything. But last Friday they issued a detailed, unreserved apology for the abuse of women who had relationships with undercover police officers.

Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt even made a video of the admission, bluntly stating for the record that the relationships were

abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong. I acknowledge that these relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma…

Most importantly, relationships like these should never have happened. They were wrong and were a gross violation of personal dignity and integrity.

The outrageousness and severity of how these women were treated is finally an acknowledged, settled fact.

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
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Met police: undercover relationships abuse of power and violated women’s human rights

Police Spies Out of Lives
Today the Metropolitan police finally made a unreservedly apology to the eight women who had relationships with undercover officers, and agreed to pay substantial compensation. Congratulations, well done! ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ seems to be crumbling, bit by bit.

The Undercover Research Group supports the call for the Met to release ALL cover names of officers who had unacceptable relationships whilst undercover. See the Undercover Research Group portal for more on undercover policing.

Reposted here is the Police Spies Out of Lives press statement of 20 November 2015.

Statement by the eight women.

In the apology issued today by Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, the Metropolitan Police finally conceded that “officers, acting undercover whilst seeking to infiltrate protest groups, entered into long-term intimate sexual relationships with women which were abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong” and that “these relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma”

AC Hewitt issued this public apology on behalf of the Metropolitan Police as part of the settlement of seven out of our eight claims arising from intimate relationships we were decieved into by undercover police officers Bob Lambert, John Dines, Mark Jenner, Jim Boyling (all Special Demonstration Squad officers) and Mark Kennedy (of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit), all of whom infiltrated environmental and social justice campaigns. Continue reading

The Fifteen Questions we work with

typewriter partPeter Salmon and Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group,
2 November 2015

As we noted in a recent blogpost on how we work, we have a list of questions that we have developed from close study of the undercovers exposed so far. If someone comes to us with a suspicion about someone in their group, we put these questions to them, to see whether their suspicions are well founded. If many boxes are ticked, there are strong grounds for further investigation.

Here we set out the questions we work with, putting them context (thanks for people taking part in our meeting at the London Anarchist Bookfair for their input!). Some questions are specifically related to the undercover tradecraft. Others are things about what infiltrating officers get wrong, or what we’ve picked up from our own analyses.

  1. Is their background missing?

Generally, the undercover has very little in the way of background story. They will often have a Continue reading

The Pitchford Inquiry’s Geographical Blinkers

Most known spycops worked abroad

First published at the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance blog, 30 October 2015.

The public inquiry into undercover policing is in a stage of active preparation, with the hearings expected to start properly next summer.

We’ve already had the inquiry’s Terms of Reference set out by the Home Secretary. It will

…inquire into and report on undercover police operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces in England and Wales since 1968.

 

[This] will include, but not be limited to, the undercover operations of the Special Demonstration Squad and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit.

More than half the exposed officers from those units worked outside England and Wales. They spied in at least seventeen different countries over a period of 25 years (the Undercover Research Group has produced a detailed list of dozens of instances). If this is the case with the known officers, it’s safe to presume many of their colleagues did it too.

Some officers are known to have committed crimes whilst working undercover abroad. It’s Continue reading