Why Police Chief is unfit to lead Operation Herne (spoiler: he oversaw #spycop Mark Kennedy)

Mick Creedon Billy Briggs, The Ferret, 30 June 2016 – in tandem with Donal O’Driscol, the Undercover Research Group

The policeman leading an internal investigation into the undercover policing scandal at the Met Police is “unfit” for the role because he once oversaw disgraced police spies who abused their powers, according to a research group.

Mick Creedon, Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police, was appointed to lead Operation Herne in 2013 by Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

At the time, Home Secretary Theresa May welcomed the appointment saying there must be independent scrutiny of the review at the Met.

Operation Herne was launched in 2011 after revelations by The Guardian that undercover Met officers operating with a unit called the Special Demonstration Squad used the identities of dead babies.

The review was initially supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and led by a senior Met officer, but May told MPs that a police chief from an outside force would lead the inquiry.

Chief Constable Creedon was chosen because of his lengthy experience as a detective, having joined the police in 1980 at the age of 22 years old. He’s been in his present role at Derbyshire Police since 2007.

However, campaigners seeking the truth about the undercover Met Police scandal say he should not have been appointed to lead Operation Herne because of his past links to the disgraced units currently under investigation.

Undercover Research Group (URG) – a project formed to enhance the public’s understanding of the scandal while exposing police spies in the public interest – said Creedon is an “insider” and “unfit” to lead Operation Herne.

URG added that it has lost trust in the internal Met investigation.

Donal O’Driscoll of URG, said: “Piecing together the timeline of his career, showed us that Creedon has been overseeing operations of undercover officers targeting protest groups at various points in time.”

“The new proof of his involvement in the very undercover policing he is supposed to investigate independently make him an insider, and as such effectively unfit/unsuitable to lead Operation Herne. Moreover, it completely undermines the trust in the investigation – or what was left of that.”

The abuse of powers by some undercover officers with the Met Police led to the establishment of Operation Herne and also the Pitchford Inquiry, a public inquiry set up last year to investigate undercover policing in England and Wales since 1968.

Dubbed ‘spycops’, Met officers infiltrated hundreds of political groups including animal rights organisations, CND and environmentalists.

(…)

URG’s concerns over Chief Constable Creedon and his suitability to lead Operation Herne, an on-going internal Met Police inquiry, centre on his role at Derbyshire Police as a senior officer who was responsible for undercover operations.

In tandem with The Ferret, URG have today published extensive details of Chief Constable Creedon’s police career to date, revealing that he would have been responsible for Met undercover officers, including Mark Kennedy, who operated in Derbyshire.

Read on: