Fight against police secrecy in Cardiff undercover relationship case continues in court

  • Court Hearing about Undercover Cop, Marco Jacob’s, abusive relationships – Tuesday 23rd May, 10am, Royal Courts of Justice
  • Picket outside Royal Court of Justice at 9am
  • Police continuing to avoid accountability and disclosure

On Tuesday 23rd May, a legal case over undercover police relationships will return to the High Court, following a hearing last year [1], when police were able to push back disclosure of documents relating to the identity of the officer, his training, deployment and supervision.

Two women and one man are suing The Metropolitan Police, South Wales Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers over sexual abuse committed by an undercover police officer in Cardiff – “Marco Jacobs”.[2]

The Undercover Officer had spent 5 years infiltrating anti-capitalist, anarchist, environmental, animal rights and other campaign groups,[3] developing a number of close personal relationships, and in common with several other undercover police who have been exposed, engaged in the sexual abuse of a number of his targets.[4]

Despite having very publicly apologised to seven women [5] for such deceitful long-term intimate relationships and abuses, Police Lawyers are maintaining delaying and avoiding coming to a settlement in relation to this case.  Previous court proceedings moved Human Rights issues to the ‘secret court’ of the IPT.[6] However common law claims against the police are continuing in open court. [7]

On Tuesday 23rd May at 9am, before the Case Management Hearing, there will be a protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice by the claimants and their supporters.[8]

“Despite admitted the wrongdoing of undercover officers, it beggars belief that the police continue to avoid facing up to their responsibilities, heaping extra suffering on the people they targeted.” – Tom Fowler, claimant

Key background info

1. http://www.thecanary.co/2016/06/06/undercover-policing-back-court-police-attempt-withhold-evidence/

2. AJA, ARB, & Thomas Fowler (Claimants) -v- Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis,  Chief Constable of South Wales Police, & Association of Chief Police Officers (Defendants)

3.  http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/jan/19/undercover-police-officer-mark-jacobs
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/welsh-protest-groups-infiltrated-police-1859796
https://southwalesanarchists.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/statement-from-cardiff-anarchist-network-can-on-the-infiltration-by-mark-‘marco’-jacobs/

4. http://powerbase.info/index.php/Marco_Jacobs_(alias)

5. http://news.met.police.uk/news/claimants-in-civil-cases-receive-mps-apology-138574

6. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-24831728

7. http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/2015/03/26/police-concede-marco-jacobs-was-spycop/

8. https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/picket-hearing-marco-jacobs/
— end of background information —

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This Tuesday! Picket outside hearing of case around spycop Marco Jacob’s relationships

  • What: Picket outside South Wales Undercover Relationships case hearing
  • Where: The Royal Courts of Justice
  • When: 9am Tuesday 23rd May

Court cases against the police for abusive undercover relationships continue, and next week, the South Wales Case has a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice. Show your support at a picket outside the court!

Two women and one man are suing The Metropolitan Police, South Wales Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers over sexual abuse committed by an undercover police officer in Cardiff – “Marco Jacobs”.

In conducting these abusive and degrading relationships, the police have demonstrated institutional sexism against women, and institutional prejudice against campaigners. The undercover policing scandal shows an utter contempt for our democratic right to participate in social justice campaigning.

You and your friends are needed to be there, to show that these issues are important to us all.

Shows of public support outside court hearings are incredibly powerful. Standing with and supporting people, who are courageously standing up against the state, means they do not feel they are taking this fight alone. It is public interest and outrage around these cases, that has led to the police apologising to 8 women for similar cases, and to the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

We need to keep up the pressure. Without it, they may be able to brush this critical issue for our democracy back under the carpet.

Come to this picket on Tuesday, but if you can’t then make noise about it in another way – talk about it, share on social media, write to your MP.

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This week: Demonstration outside Undercover Policing Inquiry

Hearing of the Undercover Policing Inquiry

Where? Royal Courts of Justice
When? April 5th-6th 2017

This is a crucial hearing [1] in the preliminary stages of the public inquiry into the scandals surrounding undercover policing. It results from the latest police delaying and avoidance tactics: they have applied to delay the Inquiry  further, and to restrict the scope of the  Inquiry [2]

Lord Pitchford has decided this hearing should also be an opportunity for the non-state, non-police core participants (those affected by undercover  policing) to comment on the progress of the Inquiry [3]. They will use it as an opportunity to demand prompt release of the cover names of undercover officers, and the disclosure of personal files held by police on them, as well as fairer representation in the Inquiry [4].

It is expected that the hearing will be attended by many people affected by undercover policing, including women who were deceived into intimate relationships with undercover police.

Demonstration outside the hearing

Where? Royal Courts of Justice
When? 9-10am Wednesday April 5th

It is over six years since the undercover policing scandal [5] broke, creating shock that the police could commit such  abuses against campaigners in our country. Two years into the Inquiry and the police have so far avoided giving any information about their abusive activities. People who have  had their lives turned upside down by infiltration are no  nearer to knowing the truth. The public is no nearer to knowing the extent of the abuse of our democracy.

Non-state, non-police core participants in the Inquiry and their supporters will be demonstrating before the court hearing. They are demanding:

  • the Inquiry starts to serve the people who have been affected by undercover policing, and does not allow the abusers to get away with delaying and preventing disclosure about what has happened.
  • the Inquiry release the cover names of the officers now, so that the full extent of the undercover policing scandal can be revealed.
  • the release of the files held on all the core participants affected by undercover policing.

“Since settling our legal cases offering nothing to us in the way of disclosure, the Police have still not revealed anything not already in the public domain. All the information we have about these units is what we have discovered for ourselves. The police continue to do everything in their power to avoid giving us the answers the public deserve. This Inquiry, if it is to get anywhere, must stop allowing the police to  delay  and divert, and insist on open transparent investigation of the   officers involved, their supervisors and the policies of surveillance   behind decades of political policing.” ‘Lisa’, deceived into a six year relationship with undercover officer Mark Kennedy [6]

 

Key background information

1] https://www.ucpi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/20170215-directions-extension-of-time-composite.pdf  These preliminary hearings are crucial as they shape the course of the Inquiry.

2] A hearing is taking place following requests from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) for:
a.   an extension of time for anonymity, via restriction order applications on behalf of police officers formerly employed by the Special Demonstration Squad; and
b. a change in the Inquiry’s approach to those restriction order applications, which would reduce its scope: they are requesting that only a limited number of SDS officers be required to give evidence to the Inquiry.
For more information see our progress briefing: https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/uploads/2016/05/UCPI-update-FebMarch-public.pdf

3] https://www.ucpi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/20170302-Counsels-Note-for-hearing-on-5-April-2017.pdf

4] https://www.ucpi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/20170323-submissions-for-hearing-on-20170405-NPNSCPs.pdf

5] The scandal has included women being deceived into abusive intimate  relationships [https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/our-stories/], miscarriages of justice being perpetrated [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-25829169],  families fighting the police for justice have being spied on [https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/15/doreen-lawrence-name-undercover-police-spied-family], and  trades union activists being blacklisted [https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/undercover-with-paul-lewis-and-rob-evans/2015/may/28/blacklisted-workers-seek-to-prise-open-secrets-of-covert-police-surveillance].

6] Lisa is one of the seven women to whom the Met issued a comprehensive apology (https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/new-met-apology/). Lisa’s story can be found here: https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/our-stories/lisas-story/

7] Legal briefings on the progress of the Inquiry are available here: https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/pitchfordinquiry/inquiry-briefings/

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Demonstration at Undercover Policing Inquiry hearing

Join us to demand disclosure on political policing abuses in the UK

Where? Royal Courts of Justice
When? 9-10am April 5th 2016 – on the first day of the hearing
What? Demonstration- bring banners, & placards
Who? Anyone who cares about our democracy

It is over six years since the undercover policing scandal broke, creating shock that the police could commit such abuses against social, animal, and environmental justice campaigners in our country. Women have been deceived into abusive intimate relationships, miscarriages of justice have been perpetrated, families fighting the police for justice have been spied on, trades union activists have been blacklisted. They, and we, need to know what has happened and why, so that we can repair the damage done to our lives and our democracy.

Public outrage at the scandals around undercover policing led to the Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing. Two years in, it is still in its preliminary stages, beset by police delaying tactics, and applications for secrecy. In the inquiry and the associated court cases, the police have so far avoided giving any information about their abusive activities. People who have had their lives turned upside down by infiltration are no nearer to knowing the truth. We are no nearer to knowing the extent of the ongoing abuse of our democracy.

“It’s been almost a year, to the day, since we had that apology made in public by the Metropolitan Police and despite them saying they’re sorry, it hasn’t resulted in any  disclosure  of information about what happened to us. I’m sure any victim of abuse will tell  you, that knowing what’s happened, is as important as being, being told  that the people responsible are sorry.  Until we get full  answers about exactly what happened to us (Were we  targeted? How we were  targeted? Were we listened to? What information  was gathered on us?),  I don’t think  we’ll ever be able to  put this behind us”. Lisa speaking in November 2016.

On April 5th & 6th, there is an Inquiry hearing resulting from the latest police delaying and avoidance tactics, applying to delay the Inquiry further, and to restrict the scope of the Inquiry.

We demand that the Inquiry starts to serve the people  who have been affected by undercover policing, and does not allow the abusers to get away with delaying and denying disclosure on what has happened.

We demand that the Inquiry release the cover names of the officers now, so that the full extent of the undercover policing scandal can be revealed. We demand the release of the files held on all the core participants affected by undercover policing.

It is public pressure and outrage that brought about this Inquiry. Right now we need to show that it is still high on our agenda to prevent the police hiding the truth any further. All people involved with campaigning for progressive change in our society have been, and are at risk of infiltration and abuse at the hands of these shady political policing units.

It is people like you, taking a stand for your right to campaign for positive change without being abused by the state, that will change history, making sure these abuses come to light and are prevented from ever happening again. Without public support, the police may get away with hiding what has happened, and be able to continue their abuses.

What can you do?
· Come along to the demonstration and stand with the core participants to support their demands.
· Attend the hearing, and hear first-hand what is going on.
· Can’t make it on the day?
– Support us by talking about it on social media. Share the face book event
– Take a solidarity selfie (see below)

Solidarity selfie?
WHEN between NOW and the secrecy hearing on April 5th & 6th
WHERE anywhere, or go somewhere prominent in your local area – your town hall, local landmark, village sign, train station
WHAT hold up a sign or a banner demanding the #spycops Inquiry releases the names and opens the files, and take a photo. If you’ve got a landmark in, it’s #Yourtown demands #spycops Inquiry releases the names & opens the files!
SHARE on social media – use #spycops

Do it as soon as you think of it, go with your mates, go with your group after your latest meeting, go with your kids or your gran. No gesture too small.

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

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,

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