Roger Pearce, #spycop, head of the Special Demonstration Squad and of Special Branch, and now an author.
Dónal O’Driscoll, Undercover Research Group, 29 March 2017.
Today, the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing confirmed that former Special Branch commander Roger Pearce had been a spycop. This was something that the Undercover Research Group had first publicly identified in October 2016, having stitched together material from various sources.
It was the police’s own Operation Herne which led the way, giving us the nugget of information that N85, a Special Branch commander had previously been an undercover officer and leading us to the identification. However, when we delved into Pearce’s public appearances, there were plenty of other clues, not least in the way he publicly spoke about spycops.
Defending the indefensible
When the undercover scandal broke, he was vocal in defending the indefensible – theft of dead children’s identities and sexual relations with activists. We now know the horrendous activities that the undercovers got up to on their deployments. Yet, he went on television to state:
The people I know and knew, the people who were selected for Special Branch and above all those who were selected for SDS, with very, very few exceptions who were known about, were people of integrity and honour and fired up by a sense of mission, to protect the country actually.
Donal O’Driscoll / Undercover Research Group
John Dines as he is confronted in Sydney by Helen Steel.
Even in the the roller-coaster ride that is the #spycop saga, yesterday will stand out. Keyboards were smoking as our various members sought to react to the breaking news. In case you missed it, we summarise the three stories that came out.
Top of the day was Helen Steel confronting the man she once called a soul mate. John Barker had been a north London activist who she had fallen in love with and they spoke of spending their lives together. When he vanished it was devastating to her and she spent many years tracking him down, discovering bit by bit that everything about him was a lie. Even his name. Years of destructive doubt followed.
He was really John Dines, undercover police officer who had been sent in to target her and her friends. Anyone who knows Helen knows she is a tenacious and fearless campaigner, but even for Helen this was a remarkably long and hard road. So when she finally tracked him down and confronted him we all cheered for her.
Repost of Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, 23 November 2015
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 Continue reading
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
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.
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.
Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group
23 March 2015
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