The Home Office has supported the Police’s request for secrecy in the Public Inquiry at the forth coming hearing. We urge you to write to your MP to back the arguments that the Inquiry should stay public, and to make representations to the Secretary of State.

sorrynotenoughBelow is a short and long version of a letter to an MP which you could use to base your letter on. Find the address of your MP here.

 

SHORT VERSION

Dear MP

I am writing to complain in the strongest terms about a submission by the Home Office to the Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing. The unnecessary submission backed police requests to have the inquiry held almost entirely behind closed doors. I am disgusted that the Home Office backed such a blatant attempt at a cover up, seemingly with no regard to the significant damage done to the victims of undercover policing, and without care for the impact on the fabric of our democracy. As your constituent, I insist that you pass on my concerns to the Secretary of State, and back the Public interest arguments that the Inquiry should stay Public.

For almost fifty years, individuals have been subject to covert policing because of their political views and/or involvement in justice campaigns. This goes to the heart of our democracy and the ability of its citizens to exercise their fundamental human, civil and political rights. Further public concerns include police interference with the democratic process by spying on serving MPs, Ministers, and political, environmental and social justice organisations; deception of the criminal courts leading to miscarriages of justice; officers engaging in sexual relationships, including fathering children, while undercover; spying on families seeking truth and justice over the deaths of loved ones, such as the Lawrences; utilising the identities of deceased children; and aiding the illegal blacklisting of trade union members and political activists.

I look forward to your reply saying you will take action to stop the abuse of the public by undercover units,

Yours sincerely,

 

 

LONG VERSION

Dear MP,

I am writing to complain in the strongest terms about a submission by the Home Office to the Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing. The unnecessary submission backed police requests to have the inquiry held almost entirely behind closed doors. I am disgusted that the Home Office backed such a blatant attempt at a cover up, seemingly with no regard to the significant damage done to the victims of undercover policing, and without care for the impact on the fabric of our democracy. As your constituent, I insist that you pass on my concerns to the Secretary of State.

For almost fifty years, individuals have been subject to covert policing because of their political views and/or involvement in justice campaigns. This goes to the heart of our democracy and the ability of its citizens to exercise their fundamental human, civil and political rights. Further public concerns include police interference with the democratic process by spying on serving MPs, Ministers, and political, environmental and social justice organisations; deception of the criminal courts leading to miscarriages of justice; officers engaging in sexual relationships, including fathering children, while undercover; spying on families seeking truth and justice over the deaths of loved ones, such as the Lawrences; utilising the identities of deceased children; and aiding the illegal blacklisting of trade union members and political activists.

The Pitchford Public Inquiry’s terms of reference are to determine what has happened, whether the systems and procedures are adequate, and what recommendations can be made. The Inquiry can only be thorough and reliable if the police evidence is made public.

  • If it hears the evidence from the police in private, the Inquiry has no means of testing that evidence; recent history suggests relying on Police self-disclosure would not command public confidence.
  • Those affected cannot give meaningful, or even any, evidence if they remain in the dark about what took place.
  • Public confidence can only be restored if the public can be confident that the Inquiry has been fully able to identify the nature, extent and causes of past abuse.
  • The public and the victims must not be left feeling that there has been a cover up.

The Public Inquiry hearing takes place on 22 and 23 March, and we can only hope and trust that the Chair makes the right decision. But the stance taken by the Home Office cannot be ignored; the damage has already been done. I therefore ask that you take the following public action, and that you make representations to the Home Secretary to do the same:

  • Back the public interest arguments that the Inquiry should stay public and that restriction orders are only made as an exception to the primary position of open justice.
  • Insist that the cover names of all the officers be released, so that the true extent of the abuses can come to light.
  • Insist that the police extend their apology to all those affected by having intimate and sexual relationships with undercover police (not just the limited number so far).

I look forward to your reply saying you will take action to stop the abuse of the public by undercover units,

Yours sincerely,

Write to your MP about Home Office support for Police’s request for secrecy