Recent media coverage

As we announced yesterday, the women and their legal team are examining the two reports that were released yesterday, and the announcement of a public inquiry. In the meantime here is a select list of media articles on the events…..

BBC Newsnight 6/3/14 (available for 7 days from broadcast date)

BBC – “Undercover police – what have we learned?”

BBC – “Stephen Lawrence police ‘spy’ prompts public inquiry”

BBC – “Police spying and corruption at heart of Lawrence case

Bristling Badger Blog : “What kind of public inquiry?”

The Guardian – “Undercover police could face criminal charges over relationships with activists”

The Guardian – “How the scandal of Scotland Yard’s secret spy unit emerged”

The Guardian – “Scotland Yard undercover unit condemned in home secretary’s report

We would urge supporters of this case to use the lens of the Where We Stand statement when scrutinising reports.

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Alison interviewed on BBC Newsnight

The main story on the BBC’s Newsnight programme last night concerned the announcement by Home Secretary Theresa May of a public inquiry into undercover policing.  The programme included an interview with Alison, one of the women in this case. The programme can be watched via BBC iPlayer; Alison’s interview begins from 16.57 into the broadcast.

The Newsnight piece also included a statement issued by the Metropolitan Police, in which they yet again hide behind “Neither Confirm Nor Deny” – a flimsy ‘policy’ that the women and their supporters are saying should not stand – and in particular, should not stand in the way of justice.

There is more of Alison’s testimony on this website, and it can be found here.  There are also accounts from Belinda and Helen, two more women in this case, of their stories here and here.  All three women, along with two others, are involved in an important court hearing on the 18th and 19th of March, for which the women are asking for support in their battle against police secrecy – see here for details on the hearing.

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Today’s news #2 – Herne report

In the second big news of the day, Operation Herne’s second report was published. This is the police investigation headed by Mick Creedon (the report is therefore has been referred to as the Creedon report).

This report includes the issue of undercover officers engaging in relationships.

The women and the legal team for this case will be reading this report closely and will comment once they have reviewed its contents.

At the same time, they are preparing to face the police’s application to ‘strike out‘ their legal claims (at a court hearing later this month), as the police say that their own Neither Confirm Nor Deny “policy” stops them from answering claims in court. The women are having to fight battle after battle to get justice for the gross violations of their human rights.

The women’s position has been set out clearly in their statement Where We Stand, in which they assert that there are no circumstances in which relationships should take place, and that the practice shows institutional sexism and institutional prejudice against members of the public engaged in creating social and environmental justice.

We urge supporters of this case to use the lens of the Where We Stand statement when scrutinising all of today’s announcements.

The Guardian – today’s live blog introduced the Herne report at 3.27pm onwards, plus here’s their report on the Herne report.

The Herne Report (also referred to as the Creedon report) is here.

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Today’s news #1 – public inquiry

Today we heard that there’s to be a public inquiry into undercover policing, following an official report into the targeting of the family of Stephen Lawrence (referred to in the media as the Ellison report).  Those involved with this case will be looking at the report and the announcement closely to see whether the outrageous abuse of women’s lives will be properly addressed by the proposed public inquiry.

The women who suffered abuse of their lives by undercover units are facing aggressive legal tactics from the police. At a court hearing on March 18 they will be defending their legal action against strike-out applications from the police – the same police force that in the House of Commons today was described as “corrupt”.

The women have been calling for a “the past to be thoroughly and openly investigated” – see their statement Where We Stand, which we are asking all supporters to sign. They are also part of a coalition of groups who have been calling for a public inquiry.

Harriet Wistrich, solicitor for the 8 women bringing legal action over undercover relationships said:

“We cautiously welcome the announcement that there will be a public inquiry, but we call on the Home Secretary to ensure its scope is sufficiently broad to explore the full extent of misconduct by the Special Demonstration Squad. In particular, an inquiry must examine the conduct of undercover policing in relation to officers initiating and developing intimate relationships with women they were spying on.”

The Guardian – feed of today’s news as it broke

The Ellison Report is here.

May’s speech to the Commons is here.

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