• Undercover Policing Inquiry into Met Police’s shadowy surveillance unit continues
  • Met police issue apology to women who were deceived into intimate, sexual relationships by undercover officers
  • Women say apology ‘not enough’ and call for the Inquiry to reveal identities of all undercover officers

Yesterday, the Undercover Policing Inquiry heard an apology from the Met police to women who were deceived into relationships with undercover officers without knowing their true identity.

Peter Skelton KC, representing the Met, said many of the political and social groups spied on were needlessly targeted and said at least nine officers had “deceitful, abusive and manipulative” sexual relationships between 1983 and 1992.

The apology uses the same wording as an official apology issued nine years ago by Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt.

In response, the women who were spied on, who have since formed campaign group Police Spies Out Of Lives, say ‘an apology is not enough’.

Speaking on behalf of the group, a woman who goes by the name Alison, said: “This apology is welcome, but it’s not enough. What we want is transparency. We want the Met to release all of the officers’ cover names. Without this information, it feels like the Inquiry is protecting the police – not the public.”

“The Inquiry must reveal all of the officers’ cover names and what they went on to do after their roles in the undercover unit. We want transparency and truth. We already know that some of these officers went on to be promoted to top jobs – what about the rest? Where are they now?”

Vincent ‘Miller’ Harvey, who deceived ‘Madeleine’ into an intimate relationship and one of the officers whose real identity is known, went on to become one of the country’s most senior law enforcement officials as director of the National Crime Agency

Bob ‘Robinson’ Lambert, an undercover officer who fathered a child with a woman he spied on, became a senior academic at London Metropolitan and St Andrews Universities.

Andy ‘Davy’ Coles, who deceived nineteen year old ‘Jessica’ into a sexual relationship, became the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and a Conservative party councillor.

Last year, a damning interim report to the inquiry concluded that the Met Police’s undercover tactics were ‘unjustified and undemocratic’ and the unit should have been shut down. The women who were spied on urge the Inquiry to ‘stop protecting police’ and reveal the full identities of all undercover officers.

Today, Charlotte Kilroy KC gave a statement on behalf of two women deceived into intimate sexual relationships with officers, known as ‘Jenny’ and ‘Bea’, which described the police force as having “a culture of casual contempt for members of the public and the law.”

Addressing the Inquiry, Kilroy said: “Jenny emphasises that she still has many unanswered questions about the extent of the surveillance of her, what information was gathered about her and how that could have impacted her relationships and her career. She has seen no documents that relate to her, other than Morris’ Statement and a short extract of HN29’s Statement.”

Kilroy continued: “That knowledge vacuum causes her significant and continuing emotional distress. She has been asked to, and has, shared very intimate and personal information as part of the Inquiry process but has, so far, received no answers as to why Morris targeted and befriended her, and later had sexual intercourse with her. She hopes that answers to these questions will emerge in the course of the Inquiry.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Undercover Policing Inquiry was launched in 2015. Its investigation is split into six tranches. The interim report into the first tranche (1968-1982) was published in 2023. Tranche 2 (1983-1992) and 3 (1993-2007) will be covered between 2024 and 2026.

2. The Inquiry encompasses all undercover policing in England and Wales since 1968. Special emphasis has been given to two historical policing units – the SDS, which operated from 1968 to 2008, and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), which operated from about 1999 to 2010. Both units were primarily tasked to infiltrate political and activist groups, with the intention of gathering intelligence to assist in public order policing.

3. Police Spies Out of Lives (PSOOL) is a campaign and support group set up by and for women who have had intimate sexual relationships with undercover officers. It was established by the eight women who brought a case in 2011 and who first exposed some of the officers who have become known as ‘spycops’. Their website is https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/

A full transcript of Charlotte Kilroy’s speech to the inquiry is available on the website: https://www.ucpi.org.uk/hearing/ucpi-opening-statements-tranche-2-phase-1-day-2

Women respond to Met’s latest apology with demand for ‘transparency’