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We are supporting the legal action by eight women deceived into long term intimate relationships with undercover police officers who were infiltrating environmental and social justice campaign groups.

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Solidarity shown to Cardiff #spycops case over #NCND

Last night, 24 March 2015, saw a gathering outside Cardiff Central Police station to protest against undercover relationships, and to express disgust at the police’s use of Neither Confirm Nor Deny (NCND) to delay legal actions against them and to cover up the truth. The protest was held ahead of a court hearing today (Weds 25 March 2015) where NCND will be challenged in by another group of claimants, this time those who were targetted by “Marco Jacobs” in Cardiff. The legal action is against South Wales Police, ACPO and of course the Metropolitan Police. We extend our solidarity to this case and to all those affected by abuse by undercover police officers.

For more information on the Cardiff case, see: Cardiff Anarchists – Solidarity Against Spycops
For further information on NCND, as it was used against the case of 8 women, see: Neither Confirm Nor Deny

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Mark Jenner confirmed as ‘100%’ SDS undercover cop by whistleblower

Mark Jenner

Mark Jenner – former SDS undercover officer

A statement from Peter Francis, former undercover officer turned whistleblower, confirms that Mark Jenner (aka Mark Cassidy) was “100% one of my fellow undercover SDS Police Officers”. The High Court had controversially allowed the Metropolitan Police to hide behind their ‘neither confirm nor deny’ stance regarding Jennner – who deceived ‘Alison‘ into a 5 year relationship before disappearing from her life in 2000.

Alison said living with a police spy has had an “enormous impact” on her life and “impacted seriously” on her ability to trust.

“This is not about just a lying boyfriend or a boyfriend who has cheated on you,” Alison said. “It is about a fictional character who was created by the state and funded by taxpayers’ money.”

Mark Jenner’s boss was Bob Lambert, who is the focus of a campaign to have him removed from his current position as a criminology lecturer at the London Metropolitan University.

blacklisted_fcThe statement was read by John McDonnell MP, as he chaired the official book launch of Blacklisted by Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain at the House of Commons on the 12th March.

 

 

 

The full text of the statement is below:

Peter Francis

Peter Francis – SDS whistleblower

Statement from Peter Francis March 12th 2015

“I am humbled as well as honoured to be offered to speak tonight at such an important book launch here at the prestigious House of Commons.

However I cannot appear here for a number of reasons, including and primarily, because of some very serious outstanding legal issues/difficulties with the Metropolitan Police, that continue to hang over me ever since I became a whistleblower and therefore a potential criminal in their eyes.

I have received clear legal advice that me, even speaking here today, is likely to be considered a breach of the Official Secrets Act because I have not been granted permission from the Metropolitan Police or Home Secretary to speak to you.

This remarkable, well-researched and must-read book clearly shows how police spying on political activists has destroyed lives and that I, most unfortunately and regrettably, played a part in this.

The forthcoming Home Secretary’s public inquiry into undercover policing must include a forensic, independent (in other words, non-police) examination into all the blacklisting files compiled by the Consulting Association and then cross-reference them with corresponding Special Branch individual activists’ records to look at the areas of collusion.

There will be multiple duplicates. Of that I have no doubt at all.

Mark Jenner - former SDS undercover officer

Mark Jenner – former SDS undercover officer

In relation to Mark Jenner aka Mark Cassidy, exposed last week in the media as being a UCATT member.

An anonymous and unaccountable Scotland Yard spokesperson has obviously re-quoted their usual attempted ‘Get out of Jail Free card’ response by saying “We neither confirm nor deny the identity of any individual alleged to have been in a covert role. We are not prepared to confirm or deny the deployment of individuals on specific operations.”

But tonight, here in this supposed home of UK democracy, please let me state very clearly that Mark Jenner was 100% one of my fellow undercover SDS Police Officers deployed alongside me in the 1990s.

Jenner, who has now been very publicly exposed, should be forced to appear in person at the public inquiry to account for his spying on, amongst numerous other political protesters, the totally law-abiding construction union UCATT members whose only ‘crimes’ were being union members.

I would also like take this opportunity to unreservedly apologise to all the union members I personally spied upon and reported back on whilst deployed undercover in the SDS.

Including those not only engaged in working in the construction industry but also those in the National Union of Students (NUS), National Union of Teachers (NUT), Communication Workers Union (CWU), UNISON and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

As everything I have previously stated, I am prepared to repeat all of this under oath at the public inquiry and should UCATT or any other union or the blacklisted campaigners wish me to, in any court cases they might bring against the relevant UK authorities.

Yours in solidarity. Because at this precise moment in time, before the public inquiry, there is “No Justice”, there is “Just US”.

………………………………

Peter Francis – former SDS undercover officer and now police whistleblower

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Solidarity Pickets in Cardiff & London

NCND1“It has been over five years since we learned that Mark “Marco” Jacobs was not just another anarchist in the south Wales activist scene, but was actually an undercover police officer.

Since then a number of people who were directly effected by his use of sexual relations as an infiltration tactic have taken legal action to attempt to hold the system to account.

Sickeningly South Wales Police and the Metropolitan Police have maintained a “Neither Confirm Nor Deny” defence of all aspects of Officer Jacobs deployment.

On Wednesday 25th March three people from Cardiff will be in the Royal Courts of Justice in London attempting to strike out this non-defence.

Join us for protests to draw attention to the case and the problem of undercover political policing in general:

6pm Tuesday 24th March: outside Cardiff Central Police Station, King Edward VIII Avenue, Cardiff (Facebook event & in Welsh)

9am Wednesday 25th March: outside Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London, WC2 (Holborn or Temple tube) (There is a chance this will be moved to 9am Thursday 26th, we will update this as soon as we know or check twitter)

Neither Confirm Nor Deny = Neither Truth Nor Justice

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Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing

We welcome the announcement today that a Public Inquiry into undercover policing will take place as soon as possible.

However, we have serious concerns about what such an inquiry will be able to achieve given continuing claims by the Metropolitan Police that they can ‘neither confirm nor deny’ any allegation about undercover policing, and given their legal threats against a potential key witness, the whistleblower Peter Francis. Any public investigation of these events must require the Met Police stop this obstructive approach.

It is a matter of grave concern that policing units such as the Special Demonstration Squad and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit were expressly set up to target political dissent, and were used to undermine the public’s right to protest and seek change, despite international human rights laws protecting such activities. In the process, the police have also violated the rights of ourselves and others to privacy and respect for family life, and to be free from inhumane or degrading treatment.

The announcement about the inquiry coincides with the announcement of the intelligence committee report into the massive, illegal GCHQ spying operations revealed by Edward Snowden, and with calls for more surveillance powers. The simultaneous announcement of this Public Inquiry must not be used as a smokescreen to silence widespread public concern about the extent of spying and intrusion by security services in the UK. Greater levels of surveillence will undoubtedly lead to more abuses of our fundamental rights.

Revelations in recent years about the extent and methods of undercover policing, spying and data retention make it clear that the systematic abuse of people’s rights to privacy, political protest and even bodily integrity are not the exception, but the norm. The expansion of the surveillance state and the targetting of all forms of political dissent poses an alarming threat to freedom, democracy, protest and hopes for change, it preserves the status quo and inequality. If we are to achieve a fairer, more just society, it must be stopped.

Background info
Police Spies Out Of Lives is a support group for eight women who are taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police after they were deceived into long term intimate relationships with undercover police officers who were infiltrating environmental and social justice campaign groups. These 8 women had relationships with five different officers who were in either the Special Demonstration Squad (Bob Lambert, Jim Boyling, Mark Jenner and John Dines) or the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (Mark Kennedy). Theirs is not the only case of its kind being brought against the police. The fact such relationships took place over a period spanning more than 25 years, and involving different police units, demonstrates this was an institutional practice not an individual one. To date, there has been no satisfactory official response that reassures us that these practices are not still ongoing.

 

We are seeking:
  • a clear and unambiguous statement that the abuse has ceased
  • the past to be thoroughly and openly investigated
  • for  all those whose rights have been or are being violated in this way, and  who may not be aware of that fact, to be informed and given the right  to redress
  • action and change to prevent these human rights abuses from ever happening again
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Draft terms of reference for Inquiry under the Inquiries Act

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These draft terms of reference were submitted to the Home Office on behalf of the eight women who have brought claims against the police arising from the forming of intimate relationships by undercover police officers. They are based on an earlier draft compiled by a number of different groups affected, but have been amended further in the light of their specific experiences.

TERMS OF REFERENCE:

To inquire into, and make recommendations about, the practices, ethics, governance and impact of undercover policing in the UK between 1968 and 2014, and the Human Rights implications of the same, with special reference to the oversight, governance and conduct of undercover officers in the Special Demonstration Squad, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (NETCU) and other political policing units, in particular:

1. The activities of undercover officers and informants in political/social justice campaigns, including:

  1. The forming of intimate and sexual relationships with people in or associated with target campaign groups and the effects of those relationships on those involved and their families and close friends;
  2. The fathering of children as a consequence of forming such relationships and the long term implications for the mother, children and others.
  3. The disproportionate effect on women of the tactics used and the extent to which this reflects individual and/or institutionalised sexism
  4. Issues raised by undercover officers living in the homes of political activists;
  5. The spying on and disruption of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other activists involved in political campaigns, including the use of informants;
  6. The potential impact of undercover officers shaping, disrupting or undermining political activity, including acting as agent provocateurs;
  7. The sharing of information between police and private investigators or other companies;
  8. The role of undercover officers in the exchange of information about construction workers and political and Trade Union activists with private companies including the Consulting Association, and the creation of databases about individuals;
  9. The role of UK undercover officers in political protests or meetings abroad;
  10. The use of the identities of dead children by undercover officers.
  11. The ongoing risks to members of the public during and after the deployment ends, arising from;
    i) the psychological damage caused to undercover officers by lengthy periods of deployment and living with dual identities
    ii) the officers influence on and intimate knowledge of those they have been monitoring

 

2.The activities of undercover officers, informants and victim/family liaison officers in relation to:

a) the investigations into the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the attack on Duwayne Brooks and subsequent related inquiries

b) those bereaved at the hands of the police and family support campaigns

c) those challenging the efficacy of police investigations eg. in relation to the deaths or assaults of loved ones

3. Implications for the Justice system of the activities of undercover officers including:

a) failures to disclose evidence about undercover work to prosecution, Courts or parties; disclosure failures in civil cases; failure to disclose to the Macpherson and other Inquiries;

b) undercover officers and informants committing criminal offences or inciting others to do so

c) undercover officers participating in the criminal justice system (as person arrested, defendant or witness) using a false identity;

d) breaches of legal professional privilege by undercover officers, and the improper collection and retention of information about lawyers acting for protestors or campaigners.

e) decision making and role of the Crown Prosecution Service in respect of the activities of undercover officers

 

4. To inquire into the efficacy of systems for supervising, authorising, debriefing and decision-making in relation to undercover policing, including those operated by the MPS, ACPO, the Home Office, and international cooperation between states, and the extent to which governance systems and policies caused, obfuscated or failed to prevent any abuses.

5. To inquire into the extent to which the current legal framework and policies governing authorisation of, oversight of and complaints about undercover police operations has failed, including how the use of “Neither Confirm Nor Deny” prevents scrutiny of abusive and / or potentially unlawful police activity and of accountability relating to the same.

 

6. And to make recommendations regarding:

a) The appropriateness of undercover policing in social justice and political campaign groups

b) The conduct of, oversight of and ethical framework for any future undercover police work to safeguard the rights of individuals and ensure the highest professional and ethical standards and compliance with equalities legislation

c) Changes to the legal and policy framework governing undercover policing, particularly the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and the operation of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

d) Changes to the official status and accountability of international policing networks such as the European Co-operation Group on Undercover Activities.

 

 

 

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