Lisa is involved in the case taken by the eight women. She requested anonymity; this has been upheld by the courts. ‘Lisa’ is a pseudonym.
Here is a video of Lisa talking at the COPS conference, 25th Oct 2016 – ‘Voices of the Spied On’.
Lisa wrote an article in the Guardian on 28th July 2015, co-authored with Kate. It can be read here.
Lisa told her story in an interview with the Guardian.
She gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee in February 2013, alongside Alison and Helen. You can read the transcript of their oral evidence here. Here are some of the key points she raised about her experiences at the home affairs select committee:
Q: How much of a shock was it to find out that the person that you were in a relationship with was in fact an undercover police officer?
I was absolutely shocked and devastated. We were in a relationship for six years. You imagine that somebody may be in public meetings that environmental groups have. You imagine there might be somebody listening in there. You could even imagine that your phone might be tapped or that somebody might look at your emails, but to know that there was somebody in your bed for six years, that somebody was involved in your family life to such a degree, that was an absolute shock. Well, “shock” is an understatement. It felt like the ground had shifted beneath me and my sense of what was reality and what wasn’t was completely turned on its head.
Q: Do you accept that in certain circumstances undercover agents are necessary for the police to uncover serious crime?
I can’t comment on what the police might do in all kinds of [situations]; I can’t comment on their general operational decisions, but in terms of my life, and what I was doing, it is inconceivable. When you realise that something that unbelievable was true, it left me unable to decide what was likely and what wasn’t.There was no justification for putting an undercover cop into my family’s life.
How it feels to me is: it’s not [just] having found out that your partner was lying about who they are, but finding out that your most personal relationship was being controlled by the state without your knowledge. There are a group of people whose names I will never know, who I will never meet, who had control over what time we spent together, who ultimately decided when my relationship was going to finish, who made the decisions about whether or not Alison [fellow claimant] could have children in her personal relationship. All of these kinds of decisions were being made behind the scenes by a team of people who had intimate knowledge of myself and my life, and I had no idea of their existence.
Q: We have your former partner coming in, Mark Kennedy. You know that he is taking legal proceedings against the Met, and he claims that he is also a victim and that he has been traumatised by what is happening. Do you have any sympathy with that?
When you find out that somebody was a professional liar, it is very difficult to decide what they may or may not have felt in reality. It is my feeling that there was psychological damage caused on both sides and that there was very little regard shown for anybody’s psychological welfare in this situation, apart from the person making the operational decisions who was distant enough from it. As a human being it is very difficult not to have sympathy for somebody that I cared about deeply, but it is also important to remember that the person that I cared about deeply did not in fact exist. I cared deeply for somebody whose life was intermingled with mine, and that person’s life story is a fiction.
Q: Why were you targetted?
We are looking for these answers. This is why we are bringing proceedings because we do not have answers for these things.
We know that it is a practice that has been going on for a very long time, and so it is not just the actions of one rogue officer or two rogue officers, or three even. There is no way you could not interpret this as a systemic attitude within the police and a deliberate policy. Our case involves the Human Rights Act. We are talking about degrading and inhumane treatment. I think what happened to us has been akin to psychological torture, and you would have to think long and hard before you deliberately authorised such a practice.
I do not think there can be a justification.
Q: What other questions do you want answered?
There is a lot that is unanswered. Some people still need answers as to definitively who the person they were in a relationship was. I am in the position where I do know a certain amount. But what I would like to know is: who else was participating in the relationship that I believed was just me and one other person? Who else was seeing every text message that I ever sent him? Who was listening in to our most intimate phone calls? Who saw our holiday photos? Was there anybody following us when we were on holiday? Who made the decisions about what happened to my life, where I was allowed to go, who I was allowed to see, which I thought was my free will but actually was being manipulated by this person who was being controlled by other people? There are lots of questions that I need answers to.
Given as oral evidence to the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee during their enquiry into undercover policing, February 2013. The full evidence can be read here, and the Committee’s Interim Report can be read in full here.
If you quote any of the above account, for articles, blogs, or academic research, please let us know. Please respect that while these words appear in the public domain, they belong to people who have had their private lives profoundly abused. Thank you.