Secret Police Spying Gets Called Inappropriate

( — An inquiry into a now-defunct special unit of the London Metropolitan Police found that the majority of the unit’s clandestine operations were unjustified, The Epoch Times reported.

The inquiry, which published its interim report last week, looked into the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) an undercover unit that operated from 1968 until 1982, infiltrating political or single-issue organizations to investigate or prevent serious crimes, including terrorism.

Sir John Mitting, who headed up the inquiry, said that the “great majority” of the SDS undercover operations failed to meet the criteria outlined by the unit.

The report details the extent of the intrusion the undercover police officers had in people’s lives and the relationship forged by the officers with civilians.

According to the report, Home Office officials and senior Met officers failed to address the issues that developed from the SDS activities, including the SDS’s use of long-term deployments with political groups that resulted in undercover officers intruding into people’s lives, befriending members of the group, and developing sexual relationships with group members.

Eleanor Fairbraida, one of the witnesses in the inquiry, had a sexual relationship with Officer Mark Kennedy while he was working undercover from 2003 to 2010. Kennedy, who was married at the time, got involved with at least ten other women during his time undercover with the SDS.

Fairbraida told the PA news agency that the SDS was a “subversion of our democracy” and should not have been in operation. She accused the government of “covertly surveilling” citizens, including those who were not targets of an operation.

According to the report, evidence obtained during searches was invalidated because the undercover officer was given consent under false pretenses.

The inquiry concluded that the technique used to create an undercover officer’s false identity, namely taking the name of deceased children without the consent of the family, should have been referred to the Home Office and senior officials at the Met. If it had, it would have “given rise to legitimate public concern” and “embarrassment” for the Commissioner, the Met, and the Home Secretary.

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