Lord Justice Pitchford is clearly very reluctant to release any personal information about those who were spied on beyond the details the Undercover Policing Inquiry feels that it needs to conduct its investigations. This is not the same, of course, as releasing the files that were gathered on individuals so they can understand the extent of the intelligence gathering and surveillance on them. So, let’s help them a bit! Continue reading
Andy Coles has announced his resignation, effective immediately, following a weekend of press scrutiny over his past activities as an undercover police officer, in which the woman he deceived into a relationship called for him to step down.
- Statement of Jessica , 12 May 2017
- Our profile on Andy Coles’ undercover work
- Finding Andy – our blog, 12 May 2017
May 15th, 2017
Statement from Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Coles
There have been news reports over the weekend about which I am unable to comment.
This coverage is significantly impacting on my ability to carry out my duties as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.
I have therefore today tendered my resignation with immediate effect, which Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite has accepted.
I am aware that the allegations have been referred directly to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Statement from the Police and Crime Panel
There have been news reports over the weekend regarding Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Coles.
A referral has today been made by the Police and Crime Panel to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
As a result of the referral, we are unable to make any further comment at this stage.
Statement from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite
Following news reports over the weekend, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Coles has taken the decision to resign from his post with immediate effect.
I have accepted his resignation.
The matter has been referred directly to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for their consideration, therefore I will not make any further comment.
Dónal O’Driscoll and Eveline Lubbers, Undercover Research Group, 12 May 2017
Today we expose Andy Davey who was undercover in the animal rights movement in the early 1990s. His real name is Andy Coles, and he is currently a Tory councillor and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.
Simon Israel at Channel4 News at 7pm has an interview with ‘Jessica’, the woman Coles groomed into a relationship when she was just 19, and in the Guardian Rob Evans has Jessica calling for Coles to resign.
Breaking – Andy Coles resigns as Deputy Police Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, our blog, 15 May 2017.
Rob Evans, Cambridgeshire deputy police commissioner resigns over spy claims, The Guardian, 15 May 2017
Each discovery of a new undercover police officer in protest movement comes with its own unique twists and turns. For Andy Coles, it began with a small paragraph in the autobiography of his more famous brother, the former popstar (The Communards!) Rev. Richard Coles. From there we were able to track not only what he got up to undercover, but also where he is now. These days, he is a Tory councillor and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The painstakingly unravelling of a hidden identity and documenting the activities of spycops is a process that usually takes months and months. More often than not, what you are left with after excruciating amounts of sifting out false positives is only 95% certainty that someone had indeed been a spycop.
Finding Andy Coles was a very different story: it moved much faster. His undercover persona Andy Davey, also known as Andy ‘Van’, was first outed by his former animal rights comrade Paul Gravett online in 2014. At the time, little was known other than that Andy fitted the pattern of spycops discovered to date. However, the investigation began in earnest when in January 2017 we got a little help from some friends. Someone reading Fathomless Riches, Or How I Went From Pop to Pulpit, the autobiography of the pop star, broadcaster and Anglican priest Richard Coles, spotted the following intriguing paragraph:
My older brother, Andy, brought his own drama with him. He looked like he had just walked out of the woods, his hair long and shaggy, with a straggly beard, his ears rattling with piercings; but his disarray was not like mine, an outward sign of internal distress, but suffered in the line of duty. He had joined Special Branch and was undercover, living a double life, infiltrated into some sinister organisation while his wife and baby daughter made do with unpredictable visits.