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.

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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

Breakthrough ruling: #spycops defence down the drain!

Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group
26 March 2015
A breakthrough ruling in the Marco Jacobs case: The police will not contest that Jacobs was an undercover officer, nor require the claimants to prove he was. If the claimants are awarded damages then the Met, South Wales Police & the Association of Chief Police Officers will be liable.

The ruling was made on 25 March 2015 in the High Court case of Welsh activists who were spied on by Jacobs to get the Met’s obstructive ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ tactic struck out. Here’s the full order from the hearing (stretching the English language to it’s limits, as @tombfowler said). Text agreed by both sides.

, the lawyer of the Welsh activists tweeted his comments:

After today’s order is less easy for to rely on as a “defence’ to legal challenges.

It seems clear after today that there is yet another way around what police maintain is an inviolable policy!

Jacobs was named with a photo in the mainsteam media more than four years ago. Everyone knows he was a police officer. The ruling shows that the use of NCND is simply the Met trying to avoid accountability using any tactic they can.

For more background, read our Marco Jacobs profile including a timeline of Jacobs’ five years undercover.


‘Lily’, the tracking device and her fight against surveillance

Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group
23 March 2015
tracking device

Recently a GPS tracking device was found under the car of an activist in Valencia. The activist was ‘Lily’, who is part of the group of women suing the Metropolitan Police; she was deceived into a two-year relationship with undercover police officer Mark Kennedy.

The progressive German daily newspaper die taz broke the story initially in Der Track des Lebens, followed up by Directa, a Catalan magazine. Jesús Rodríguez/Albert Martínez wrote two articles based on interviews with Lily, one on her fight against surveillance and another on the activities of Mark Kennedy in Spain and Cataluña (thanks to the author for permission to use the material).

In this article we provide the bits so far not covered in the English speaking press, in a translation approved by Lily herself. Continue reading