Women’s Hour – BBC radio 4

A discussion on issues raised by the current legal proceedings against the Metropolitan Police took place on the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour programme, broadcast on Tuesday 6th November 2012.  The programme gives some background to the case, and features a debate with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Jan Berry, former Chair of the Police Federation.

Amongst other aspects, the piece covers the role of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), and the justification for a public inquiry into undercover policing.  It gives a good insight into why the issues raised by the case need to be brought into the open.

The eight-minute sound clip can be heard via the BBC’s website.

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Please ask your MP to attend Meeting in Parliament on Tuesday 6 November: 6.00pm – 7.30pm

We are asking everyone who supports this case to contact their MP or any members of the House of Lords they know before Tuesday 6th November.  Please urge them to attend the meeting in Parliament next week which will discuss how to stop the systematic abuse of private lives by undercover police officers and police forces.  The meeting will be hosted by Caroline Lucas MP and chaired by Helena Kennedy QC. Speakers will include Harriet Wistrich from Birnberg Pierce, who is representing the claimants, and Guardian journalist Rob Evans. All MPs and Peers will already have received an invitation.

 

The meeting is close, so please send your email straight away.

  • If it’s relevant to you and you’re comfortable doing so, outline how you have been personally affected by the revelations about undercover officer conduct
  • Whether you have been personally affected or not, please explain to them why you feel things should be changed, so that no-one has to go through this again.

 

Find the contact details for your MP here http://www.writetothem.com, where you can also find pointers on writing to your MP.  Remember to include your name and address, to remind your MP that they work for you.

 

If you get a response from your MP, we’d be very grateful to hear what it is.  Please forward responses to:  Cassie Laver:

LaverC#@#birnbergpeirce.co.uk – first remove the  # # symbols  which are there to reduce computer generated spam.

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Parliamentary debate 13.6.12

On June 13th 2012 Green party leader Caroline Lucas secured a Parliamentary debate about rules governing undercover policing which, as Hansard records, teased out the confused and contradictory position of the establishment.

Several months ago Jon Murphy, chief constable of Merseyside and head of crime business area for the Association of Chief Police Officers, claimed: ‘It is never acceptable under any circumstances for them [undercover police] to engage in sex with any subject they come into contact with. It is grossly unprofessional.‘ In Parliament on 13th June, however, Nick Herbert, Minister of Policing did not rule out the possibility of such behaviours, claiming that if there was a ban on sexual relationships, targeted groups could test potential spies and uncover their true through their refusal to have sex. This is a ludicrous argument that suggests they would have no other reason to refuse – such as suggesting they had a partner elsewhere, or that they didn’t fancy the person asking, or any other number of reasons that get given in every day life when people get asked to have sex or go on a date.

Later that evening, Caroline Lucas continued to debate the issues with Tony McNulty (Minister for Policing 2005-8) on Newsnight where she exposed further the fact that neither the police nor politicians know how to respond to the systemic violation of citizen’s rights illustrated by the women’s case.

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