In a surprise move today the solicitors for the Metropolitan Police have withdrawn their application to strike out the case of women who were deceived into intimate relationships with undercover police.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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