‘Rick Gibson’ – spycops sexually targeted women from the start

Eveline Lubbers, Undercover Research Group, 28 November 2017

Something spectacular happened at the hearings of the Undercover Policing Inquiry last week that slipped past unnoticed outside the court room. The Undercover Research Group delivered a bombshell proving that, far from going astray later, the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) sexually targeted women almost from the start.

The Inquiry was looking at a batch of undercover officers from soon after the SDS was set up in 1968. The rushed routine – discussing the officers’ applications for anonymity in order to dispose the cases as too old and thus insignificant for the Inquiry – came to an unexpected halt when a piece of our research was revealed. The Chair and the legal team for the police were stunned to hear that one of the early spycops had been involved in at least two deceitful relationships.

To date, the earliest officer known to have had relationships, including fathering a child, was Bob Lambert who started in 1984. As he continued to be a supervisor and later the manager of the SDS, it was assumed he had set an example for others following him.  The Gibson case proves Lambert was not the first one and shows women were sexually targeted almost from the start.

This is the story of how we got there, at the occassion of presenting:
Our profile of the undercover in question, Rick Gibson.

Also see:
– Undercover Research Group, Is Mitting just paying lip service to the legacy of Pitchford? What the latest #spycops files say, 16 November 2017
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Is Mitting just paying lip service to the legacy of Pitchford? What the latest #spycops files say.

Pitchford Inquiry logo
Eveline Lubbers, Undercover Research Group, 16 November 2017.

In the running up to the hearings early next week, the Undercover Policing Inquiry has released another set of documents. Since the UCPI’s website is quickly becoming unwieldy and impossible to navigate, we try to keep track of what is coming out, and what it tells us. (For a detailed overview what is known to date — and this is a work in progress — see our pages of spycops by number.)

A quick scan shows that the Inquiry has made decisions on the applications for anonymity for three sets of spycops: those from the oldest undercovers, from a few who were deployed in the far right, and from officers involved in spying on black justice campaigns, in particular N81 who spied on the family of Stephen Lawrence. In short, from the sparse information released, Mitting has chosen to start with both the easiest and the most difficult part, while also dealing with the stuff that is impossible be to avoid.

In short: disrespect for older people targeted, blanket secrecy on deployments into the far right for unexplained ‘real risk of serious violence’, and yet more secrecy for the black justice campaigns. Is Mitting just paying lip service to the legacy of the late Chair Pitchford? Continue reading