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Protests over undercover police

Dozens of women protesters calling for an independent inquiry into the deployment of undercover officers have picketed a police headquarters.

Officers and staff arriving for work at New Scotland Yard, in Westminster, were confronted by a group of vocal activists.

The protest was sparked by further disclosures about the activities of rogue agent Pc Mark Kennedy who spent seven years posing as a green activist. It has emerged Mr Kennedy, now in hiding in the United States, had sexual relationships with several women during his mission.

Organiser Sophie Stephens said: "It's time for the abuse of women by undercover police officers to stop. If a person is pretending to be somebody else, if they are spying on you, then you absolutely cannot give your informed consent.

"Women are not able to make an informed decision about who they are having a relationship with if they are being duped by police officers. We also want a judge-led inquiry. We don't trust the police to police themselves. They have showed time after time they believe they are above the law."

The picket consisted mainly of women protesters, some bearing posters of three officers who have been exposed as undercover police. Participants called on police to name officers who have been covertly involved in protest movements to reveal whether any others had relationships with women.

One of the protesters, who gave her name only as Sarah, said she knew women who had had relationships with undercover police officers. She said: "People we know and work with have had relationships with undercover policemen who they didn't know were policemen and there is no way they could have given their consent.

"I know they are feeling angry and betrayed. It's overwhelming - I had no idea this kind of thing could happen in this country. What we want to know is who the undercover policemen are."

Sam Lyas, 23, added: "This is just an abhorrent thing to happen. The police specifically condone undercover policemen having sex to glean information. It's sanctioned by the state. I'm here to show my support. Hopefully, there's going to be an independent inquiry into how undercover policing is used in the UK."

Inquiries have been announced into the police investigation of a protest at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station and the deployment of undercover officers.


From Belfast Telegraph