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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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  • Use the tabs at the top of the page for key information about the case, and to add your support.
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Submission on new Covert Human Intelligence Sources Code of Practice and Covert Surveillance Code of Practice

The government held a public consultation on proposals to update their codes of practice relating to undercover officers (known in these codes as “Covert Human Intelligence Sources”). The draft codes and the consultation document can be viewed HERE. The consultation closed on Thursday 27 March 2014. What follows below is the submission from the 8 women who are bringing this case:

 

INTRODUCTION

We are a group of 8 women bringing a legal action against the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police arising from the intrusion into our lives by undercover officers, and we are responding to the consultation on proposals to update the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Code of Practice and the Covert Surveillance Code of Practice.

The following points for the consultation are made without prejudice to our view that there are profound structural flaws within RIPA, which suggest that the whole Act requires a radical overhaul. Nor does our participation in this consultation constitute tacit acceptance of the use of undercover policing against political dissent.  We simply wish to try and ensure that the abuses we experienced cannot happen again.

We note that despite the controversy over the issue of undercover relationships in the past couple of years, the Codes of Practice fail to make any mention of intimate and sexual relationships.

On your website it states that “both codes of practice have greatly improved control and oversight of the way public authorities use covert investigatory techniques, in order to protect our right to privacy.” Having had our privacy intruded upon to a huge and damaging degree we feel that these guidelines fail to address the issues raised by our claims, and fail to offer any increased protection to the public.

The changes proposed to the Codes of Practice are not sufficient to prevent the kinds of abuses that have been perpetrated by undercover officers like Mark Kennedy and Marco Jacobs, who were operating under very similar Codes of Practice. It is irrational and represents a dereliction of duty for new guidelines to ignore this behaviour, which has been called “unacceptable and grossly unprofessional” by Jon Murphy, head of ACPO (January 2011).

In the light of inconsistent statements by senior police and ministers** on the subject of sexual relationships, a duty is owed by the government to the public (and to officers) to ensure the regulations are clear. The situation as it stands currently gives free reign to officers and their handlers, and in view of the fact that women have been disproportionately affected by these relationships, a failure to introduce measures to prevent further abuse, amounts to institutional sexism.

** Inconsistent statements on the policy in respect of sexual conduct by undercover officers can be found detailed here.

 

PROPOSED ADDITION TO CODES OF PRACTICE

In our view, in order to provide protection to the public against this abuse, the Codes of Practice need to incorporate a clear statement so officers know from the start of their deployment that sexual and intimate relationships while undercover are not acceptable.  We propose that the following statement be added to the text of para 2.13 (p7):

“Officers are expressly forbidden from entering into intimate or sexual relationships whilst in their undercover persona.”

Such a statement is necessary for the following reasons:

1) Intimate and sexual relationships by undercover officers concealing their real identity from the other person/s in the relationship/s represent a clear violation of the right to respect for private and family life (Art 8) and the right not to be subject to inhumane and degrading treatment (Art 3).  When used by officers infiltrating campaigning and political organisations, they also represent a violation of the right to freedom of expression (Art 10) and freedom of assembly and association (Art 11).

2) Intimate and sexual relationships by undercover officers concealing their real identity from the other person/s in the relationship/s causes serious long-term harm and psychological trauma to those persons and others close to them.

3) Such relationships additionally harm the officers’ families and the officers themselves.

4) Intimate and sexual relationships by officers concealing their true identity from other person in the relationship amounts to a gross invasion of an individual’s fundamental common law right to personal security.

5) The tactic as it has been used, plainly has had and will have a discriminatory effect on women and is thus prohibited by Article 14 ECHR.

6) Under Section 74 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, a person can only consent to sex if she “agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice”. Recent case law adds strength to the argument that undercover officers would be committing sexual offences if they enter into a sexual relationship. (Assange v Swedish Prosecution Authority [2011] EWHC 308 and R v McNally [2013] 2 Cr.App. R.28).  It has also been suggested by Chief Constable Mick Creedon in Operation Trinity Report 2 that offences of Misconduct in Public Office may apply. This means that sexual relationships cannot be permitted under these codes, whatever the level of authorisation.  This needs to be made clear.

7) Sexual relationships may produce children and have done in at least two of the reported cases. This means that the tactic poses a risk to women’s bodies and could also have a profound effect on the rights of a child as contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Article 7 of the UNCRC requires children to be given the right to know their parents. It is difficult to see how the use of a tactic which carries with it the risk that a child will be born to an undercover police officer who will disappear into thin air at a certain stage in the child’s life could be compatible with the UNCRC.

8) Conversely, where relationships are long-lasting, and the officer is unwilling to have children, they have an effect on a woman’s right to have children, as protected by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), since women’s fertility is so much more short-lived than that of men.

9) There is clearly a disproportionate use of the tactic against women. The failure to provide any guidance in relation to sexual relationships itself has a discriminatory impact on women because it makes it more likely that their rights will be unjustifiably interfered with. The impact on women also gives rise to the need to conduct an equality impact assessment in relation to the publication of any new Code of Guidance. No such Equality Impact Assessment has to our knowledge been produced.

 

FURTHER BACKGROUND

1) Article 3 rights are absolute or unqualified human rights – it is not possible to authorise someone to violate an unqualified human right under any circumstances.  We note that in a recent High Court judgement, Justice Tugendhat stated that a physical sexual relationship, which is covertly maintained, is more likely to fall into the category of degrading treatment, “depending on the degree and nature of the concealment or deception involved”.

2) Article 8, 10 & 11 rights are qualified rights, but interference with qualified rights is permissible only if: 

a) there is a clear legal basis for the interference with the qualified right that people can find out about and understand.

We note that there is nothing in law which states that if a police officer suspects an individual of involvement in a crime or with a political movement, that officer is entitled to have a sexual relationship with the person to try to find out.

b) the action/interference is necessary in a democratic society. 

Sexual and intimate relationships cannot be said to be necessary – It was asserted by Nick Herbert in June 2012 that “to ban such actions would provide a ready-made test for the targeted criminal group to find out whether an undercover officer was deployed among them.” We believe this to be a ludicrous argument designed to allow abuse to continue. There are a multitude of reasons why any individual might decline to become intimate with another person.  Such reasons are given in every day life and would not lead to an assumption that the person declining was an undercover officer.

In any event, such an argument would not be tolerated in respect of murder or child abuse, so why should it be tolerated in respect of abuse of women?

Further a defence of necessity and self-defence already exists in British law – therefore any officer genuinely in fear of his or her life and forced by circumstances into breaking the prohibition would be able to argue this in their defence.

c) the action/interference is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by carrying it out. The action or interference must be in response to ‘a pressing social need’, and must be no greater than that necessary to address the social need.  Given the level of invasion of privacy and the serious psychological harm caused by such relationships they would clearly fail the hurdle of proportionality.

3) The rights of women to autonomy in reproduction are protected by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Article 16(1) of which provides: States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women:

(a) The same right to enter into marriage;

(b) The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent;

(c) The same rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution;

(d) The same rights and responsibilities as parents, irrespective of their marital status, in matters relating to their children; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;

(e) The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights.

4) Article 3 of the UNCRC provides that “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”  Article 7 states: “The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.”

5) German Police internal guidelines expressly forbid the use of intimate or sexual relationships for the purpose of gathering information because this would violate basic privacy rights (“Kernbereich privater Lebensgestaltung”).  This applies to undercover investigators as well as informants employed by the federal authorities.  If it is possible to ban this tactic in another European country without risking a “ready-made test” for a targeted group then there is no reason not to implement such a ban here.

 

SECTION ON COLLATERAL INTRUSION (p12)

In our experience the depth of the intrusion into our lives also meant a deep intrusion into the lives of family members and close friends. For example, undercover police officers “infiltrated” deeply emotional family gatherings such as funerals, weddings and birthday celebrations. The psychological harm inflicted, not only on us, but on close members of our family (including infirm, elderly relatives) cannot be justified.

Such intrusion is referred to in the guidelines as “Collateral Intrusion” and, perversely, its authorisation appears to require less rigorous tests than intrusion into the lives of “suspects”. Collateral Intrusion is, it seems, a euphemism for violating the fundamental human rights of people who are not even the specific subjects of surveillance, without any real consideration of the psychological damage that such deep deceptions might cause.

As can be seen from some of the authorisations for the activities of Mark Kennedy, it was considered that any “like minded activist” was a valid target for infiltration, and so further authorisation was not sought for their inclusion into the operation, regardless of their relevance to any investigation (and despite such an approach being a clear interference with Article 10 & 11 rights). It is also evident from documents that have come to light thus far that the extended family of political activists were also considered ‘fair-game’. The Codes of Practice have not altered in any meaningful way to ensure that this behaviour does not continue.

In the same way that we don’t consider that forming intimate sexual relationships could ever be considered necessary or proportionate, it is always wholly inappropriate for a police officer to insert themselves into extended families, in the way that being part of long-term relationships would necessitate.

In our view every individual whose Article 8 Human Rights may be breached by an operation should be afforded the respect of having the merits of that intrusion specifically considered and recorded, including the specific reasons why it is considered necessary and proportionate.

 

LEVELS OF AUTHORISATION

In terms of intrusiveness, entering into deceitful long-term relationships and/or moving into people’s homes and becoming party to the most intimate details of their private lives is quite clearly more intrusive than the interception of post and telephone calls, and the positioning of recording devices in people’s homes or cars. The authorisation requirements should therefore be at least as stringent. It is inconceivable that despite increases in levels of authorisation provided for in these codes of practice, it is still the case that a phone tap needs greater authorisation than a CHIS.

It is still the case that whilst ‘Warrants signed in person by the Secretary of State, authorisations from the Secretary of State or prior approval from a Surveillance Commissioner or judge’ are required for what are considered the most intrusive methods of surveillance, it is not a requirement for the deployment of Covert Human Intelligence Sources. Whilst it is never acceptable to form intimate long-term relationships whilst operating undercover, it is still plainly absurd to consider a CHIS less intrusive than a phone tap in many cases.

To assist with understanding the impact of this type of intrusion on people’s lives, we attach our evidence presented to the Home Affairs Select Committee, as well as our Letter before Claim.   Given this evidence it is clear that the most intrusive methods of surveillance used to date are not adequately dealt with by RIPA.  These Codes of Practice should be changed to ensure that the abuses we have suffered would not be allowed in future.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY

This public consultation is taking place in the shadow of a consistently obstructive approach by the police to any public criticism. Their attitude to our cases has been to refuse to provide a properly pleaded defence or standard disclosure, even refusing to confirm or deny that the officers involved were in fact working for the police. Combine this with the recent allegations of corruption and cover-ups surrounding inquiries into cases such as Stephen Lawrence and Hillsborough, amongst others, and revelations about the shredding of documents pertaining to controversial police activity, the public perception of police accountability is low.

It is clear that the Codes of Practice as they applied to the NPOIU and the Kennedy operation, and as they now stand, will not be enough to ensure accountability. They must not be used to provide immunity from public scrutiny when wrong decisions are made, as has so patently happened in the past.

We must never lose sight of the fact that intrusive surveillance violates fundamental human rights. The test of whether something is ‘proportionate or necessary’ alone hasn’t been sufficient to prevent abuse of position by undercover officers in the past.

The most rigorous standards possible must be applied to ensuring the enforceability of these guidelines and other laws relating to the use of CHIS. Those who make the decision to violate someone’s Human Rights under these Codes of Practice must be fully accountable to the public.

The above is a submission by the eight women who are bringing this case to a government consultation. The draft codes and the consultation document to which this submission refers can be viewed HERE. The consultation closed on Thursday 27 March 2014. 

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ACTION ALERT – Consultation on undercover officers

Government consultation closes Thursday 27 March – proposals fall short over undercover relationships – send an email – see key points below

The Government is currently holding a public consultation on proposals to update their codes of practice relating to undercover officers (known in these codes as “Covert Human Intelligence Sources”). The draft codes and the consultation document can be viewed HERE.

We would urge our supporters to contribute to this consultation, which ends on March 27th.  To make a rapid contribution, the key points we are keen for supporters to make are as follows….

* There’s nothing in these codes of practice to prevent the kind of intimate sexual relationships by police officers in their undercover roles that have come to light over the last few years.

* The practice of forming intimate sexual relationships is unprofessional and unacceptable.

* It is time that the government clarifies the situation, to make it clear that these gross violations of privacy are not authorised.

Please feel free to express these in your own words, or of course to add other points as appropriate.

Email responses by 11.45pm on Thursday March 27th:

  • either use the contact form below, which will automatically forward your opinions to the consultation address
  • or send directly to RIPA@homeoffice.x.gsi.gov.uk

Thanks for taking action.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

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Press Release: Deceived women seek end to police cover up

Today lawyers for the 8 women suing the police for intimate relationships with undercover cops have filed an application in the High Court seeking to stop the Metropolitan Police using ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ (NCND) as a cloak of secrecy to hide behind.  Last week, shortly before a hearing which would have exposed the farcical nature of their claims to NCND*, the police publicly announced they were withdrawing their application to have the case struck out and said a hearing was unnecessary.  However, it later became clear that they were continuing to rely on NCND as their only defence against the claims, and had withdrawn their strike-out application only to prevent their own embarrassment.

It is now well over two years since solicitors first wrote to the police setting out details of the claim and requesting answers from them, yet despite their legal obligations to provide disclosure and properly plead their case, nothing has been received in response except a meaningless NCND defence and various legal threats to strike out the claims or get them heard in a secret court.  Despite overwhelming evidence proving the roles and identities of the undercover officers in question – much of which is in the public domain  -  the police continue to refuse even to confirm that these men were Metropolitan Police employees.  As Justice Tugendhat said to the police at the hearing on 18th March “plainly the present form of pleading if applied by anyone else… would be struck out, an ordinary defendant can’t say ‘I decline to confirm or deny’….”.

The women explained that: “The purpose of today’s application is to request that the Court bring an end to the obstructive and distressing approach taken by the police, and require them to plead a proper defence to the claims. If permitted, the police will  continue to use NCND to cover up the abusive, unlawful and unethical behaviour of their officers. As well as seriously aggravating the harm they have already caused us, their lack of transparency has serious implications for any meaningful public inquiry. How can we trust the police to be open with any inquiry when they have been so deliberately obstructive at every turn so far?

 

* Two large files of evidence were submitted to the Court to counter the strike out claim. These files detailed instances where the police had confirmed the identities of undercover officers; commented on operational tactics of these political policing units (eg. 2002 BBC TV series True Spies); show the identities of the undercover officers reported in the media; and where the women had meticulously compiled evidence demonstrating that they can show the true identities of these officers.

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Absurdity and inconsistency of “NCND”

This case has been subject to various delaying and secrecy tactics by the police. Currently at issue is “Neither Confirm Nor Deny” (known as NCND) for short. Not long ago, we explained here why NCND should not stand as a response to this case, including the strike-out application. The police subsequently withdrew their application, while still insisting on NCND.

The absurdity and inconsistency of NCND has been ably illustrated by evidence that senior officers – right up to the Commissioner himself – didn’t seem to be aware of NCND until it suited them. Here are two examples:

 

Hogan-Howe in 2011

Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe, appeared before a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority on 27 October 2011. At the meeting, Hogan-Howe was asked by members of the London Assembly about the activities of officer Jim Boyling (who used the name “Jim Sutton” whilst undercover).

It’s revealing that at this meeting (which took place shortly before the women’s legal action had been lodged) Hogan-Howe does not hesitate to confirm the identity of undercover “Jim Sutton” as one of his officers.  It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the asserted ‘policy’ of NCND was subsequently adopted as a smokescreen by the police, as public scrutiny of undercover police abuses gathered momentum.

Here are some extracts from that meeting:

Dee Doocey (Assembly Member):
In relation to the undercover officer known as Jim Sutton, was the officer authorised by his superiors to lie to the court about his identity?

Bernard Hogan-Howe :
[...] In relation to the specific case that you referred to, the one that Dee refers to, one matter has already been referred to the IPCC relating to the appearance in court as a defendant of an officer using a false name in 1997. [...] The IPCC has asked that we share with them any relevant documents to inform their assessment of the issues, and we have agreed to do so. There is, in addition, an ongoing Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) investigation, that is an internal Metropolitan Police Service investigation, started in January of this year into a number of other allegations regarding the same officer – that is the officer I think who was named by Dee with the name of Sutton – which have also been subject to media reporting.

(A full transcript of the meeting can be seen here; the relevant passage begins on page 20.)

 

Sir Hugh Orde in 2011

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) are, along with the Metropolitan Police, one of the institutions against which the women are bringing this case.  The president of ACPO, Sir Hugh Orde, has also gone on record confirming the identity of an undercover police officer – in this instance, Mark Kennedy.  He discussed the deployment of PC Kennedy at length in a speech to Liberty in February 2011, again before the women’s legal action made it inexpedient for senior police officers to admit such things.  Orde’s speech can be read here.

 

Conclusion

As previously stated by the women’s support group, “Neither Confirm Nor Deny” should not be used as a shield to prevent any illegal and immoral activities by the police from ever coming to light. Effectively they are attempting to use NCND to evade accountability and avoid any genuine scrutiny of their actions.

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Helen interviewed on BBC Radio 4 “Today”

Helen, one of the women in this case, was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme this morning. The four-minute clip can be heard here.

There is more of Helen speaking about her experience here.

For a statement from all of the women on yesterday’s hearing, see here.

 

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PRESS STATEMENT: Women condemn ongoing police obstructions to legal case

Today’s hearing has closed after a long debate in court over who will have to disclose what information when. The women have just issued this statement via their solicitor, Harriet Wistrich:

“In the past 24 hours it has become clear that although the police announced they had dropped their strike out application, this was nothing more than a cynical move to try and keep the case out of the public eye at what is an embarrassing and sensitive time for them.

“There has been an order in place since August 2013 requiring the Police to make disclosure in the absence of a strike-out application. If that application had been heard today, it would have directly addressed the question of whether ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ (NCND) can be relied on by the police at all in this case. As it is, they have today expressed their intention to continue hiding behind NCND. It is our opinion that they have no intention of providing a properly pleaded defence or disclosure in response to the women’s claims.

“We believe this and other delaying tactics being used by the Police are an abuse of Court Process.

“We will be lodging an application in the next 48 hours seeking an order from the court to bring an end to this nonsense and oblige the police to properly respond to the claims, and we sincerely hope that this case can finally go forward and the issues can be fully aired.”

See policespiesoutoflives.org.uk for further background to this case, including the ongoing battle over secret court for the other three women’s human rights claims.

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This morning’s Solidarity Picket success

Many thanks to all those who came to the Solidarity Picket this morning and demonstrated to the police that these women do not stand alone.

 

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Legal Battle Commences – Court Hearing Tues 18 March 2014

We recommend bookmarking this post – we will keeping it updated with links to the latest developments over this hearing.

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Latest updates:

  • The court hearing (18/3/14) has ended – the women have issued a statement here.
  • Before the hearing, the women’s solicitor, Harriet Wistrich, made a statement about why this hearing is important – see below.
  • Last week the police DROPPED their application to strike out the women’s common law claims – see the women’s response to the announcement.
  • To coincide with the hearing supporters are holding a week of solidarity action.

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11.30 am – STATEMENT FROM HARRIET WISTRICH :

Here’s a statement from Harriet Wistrich, the women’s solicitor, about why the hearing is important:

“So far, the police have not responded in a satisfactory way to the common law claims of the five women. The police issued a defence of ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’, and then applied for the claims to be struck out – an application they have now dropped.

“At the hearing today what we’re pushing for is a meaningful defence and disclosure so that the women can get answers to the allegations they have put to the Metropolitan Police over the serious intrusion and disruptions the women suffered.”

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11.00 am PICKET PHOTOS

We’ve received reports that there was a great turnout at the morning picket outside court in support of the women. See more info here.

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BACKGROUND TO THE HEARING

• Women successfully resist police attempt to strike out undercover police abuse casespolice withdraw application
• Now the legal battle commences – but police still obstructing justice

• Until just days before this hearing, five of the women in this case had been facing an attempt by the police to have their common law claims struck out. The police had claimed as they can ‘neither confirm, nor deny’ (NCND) anything about undercover policing, the trial should not proceed.

• The common law claims of “deceit, assault, misfeasance in public office and negligence” are made by the women who were deceived into long-term intimate relationships with undercover officers.

• ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ was always a flimsy excuse for dismissing the claims, yet rather than see it fall in court, the police have withdrawn their application for strike out – while still claiming publicly that NCND should stand.

• The police wasted months of the women’s time with the application – not to mention another ongoing secrecy battle over their human rights claims. All this has delayed the case from proceeding.

• There are fears that the police may use the announcement of a public inquiry to prevaricate further, while they and the government race to pretend that the abuses are merely ‘historical’, while doing nothing to prevent current or future abuses.

The undercover abuses stole from the women’s lives – now the police’s obstructive tactics deny them justice.

We must show the police and the political system that the women do not stand alone, and that we will not tolerate ongoing abuses.

The battle against secrecy is not over. The women and their support group will be asking for public support during the week of March 17-21, including a solidarity picket outside court on Tuesday 18 March.

For further updates and details please
- sign up to the supporters’ email list (see top right of this page)
- tell your friends about the case
- follow us on facebook or twitter
- if you are a journalist or blogger, send an email request to be added to the press list: media#@#policespiesoutoflives.org.uk (remove hashtags which are there to prevent spam)

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Slogans and messages for Week of Action

Here are some suggested slogans and messages for this Week of Solidarity Action, including Tuesday’s picket. Why not pick your favourite, make a sign and share it online? If you’re on twitter, how would YOU make it clear why we need to keep #policespiesoutoflives?

(We provide this list by request of supporters, since the intrusions at the heart of this case are so sensitive.  We thank people for their thoughtful support and outrage on this issue.)

# police spies out of lives

Neither Confirm Nor Deny = Neither Truth Nor Justice

NCND = No Courts, No Democracy

NCND = National Cover-up, National Disgrace

Stop systematic state sexism

No secrets, no lies… no police spies!

Police Spies Out Of Lives – No more secrets, no more lies

Stop sexist undercover policing

Support women fighting police abuse

End undercover abuses

End state-sanctioned sexism

End institutionalised sexism

Stop state-sanctioned sexism

Undercover is no excuse for abuse

Women have a right to protest without abuse

Stop Stasi-style policing

Stop Stasi-style policing of dissent

Stop political policing

Undercover police prevent action for social change

Undercover police sabotage environmental action

“We call for action and change to prevent these human rights abuses from ever happening again.” – Where We Stand

“Every person has a right to participate in the struggle for social and environmental justice, without fear of persecution.” – Where We Stand

Human Rights Act – Article 3:
“No-one shall be subject to inhumane and degrading treatment”

Human Rights Act – Article 8:
“Respect for private and family life, including the right to form relationships without unjustified interference by the state”

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PRESS RELEASE: Metropolitan police withdraw motion to strike out womens’ case, as legal battle continues

In a surprise move today the solicitors for the Metropolitan Police have withdrawn their application to strike out the case of women who were deceived into intimate relationships with undercover police. The application was the latest in a series of attempts to avoid answering the claims made by the women and hide behind a veil of secrecy.

Despite clinging to their assertion that they can neither confirm nor deny the identities of any former undercover officers they say that in the light of the announcement by the home secretary of a public enquiry into undercover policing “it is now not proportionate or appropriate for the claims to be struck out.”

Today the women said:

“We welcome this long overdue decision to withdraw an application which we were were confident no court would grant. The previously inconsistent approach by the Police in which they took part in a TV series about the Special Demonstration Squad and had confirmed the identity of some officers, and the information already in the public domain means that this application was farcical. The Police have failed thus far to provide a substantive response to the claims, and we hope that they will now  do so without further delay. We expect the police to stop prevaricating and acknowledge the harm done by their officers.”

In a statement last week, the women said:

“Neither Confirm Nor Deny” should not be used as a shield to prevent any illegal and immoral activities by the police from ever coming to light. Effectively they are attempting to use NCND to evade accountability and avoid any genuine scrutiny of their actions.”

Since publicising this case the women have been inundated with expressions of public support and outrage at the police’s actions.  The women will keep pushing for truth, justice and to prevent this deceitful abuse from ever happening again.

 

Harriet Wistrich, Birnberg Peirce & Partners (hw@birnbergpeirce.co.uk)

Background Notes

This application involved 5 women who were deceived into intimate relationships by undercover police officers in the Special Demonstration Squad – Bob Lambert, John Dines, Jim Boyling and Mark Jenner.  It is linked to the case of another 3 women who were deceived into relationships with Mark Kennedy of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit.  Further information about the case is available on the website: policespiesoutoflives.org.uk

 

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