…By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
A damning report from the Undercover Policing Inquiry, initiated eight years ago by the Home Secretary, has revealed that undercover Metropolitan Police officers engaged in deceptive sexual relationships with women, even when it was unnecessary to maintain their cover.
The report condemned the actions of the former Special Demonstration Squad, stating that there was no justification for infiltrating left-wing and anarchist groups in this manner.
The public would have vehemently objected had they been aware of these tactics at the time.
Officers’ Beliefs and Unacceptable Conduct
The inquiry acknowledged that the “great majority of undercover officers” genuinely believed their actions were legal and served the public interest.
Some officers were commended for their skill and courage in fulfilling their duties. However, the report highlighted a series of instances involving unacceptable conduct.
It detailed the case of a married officer who confessed to having a relationship with one woman, as well as engaging in kissing and fondling with another.
The report noted the officer’s remorse and his acknowledgment of betraying his wife and breaching his duties as a police officer.
Misconduct and Relationships with No Relevance to Deployment
Another officer admitted to wrongdoing and expressed regret for the harm caused to a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship lasting up to two months.
Additionally, he confessed to a “fleeting sexual relationship” with another woman as his deployment was about to conclude.
The report emphasized that these relationships had no bearing on the officers’ undercover work and served no relevant purpose.
Evaluation of Means and Purposes
The inquiry chairman, Sir John Mitting, a former High Court judge, stated that the primary purpose of the Special Demonstration Squad was to support uniformed police in maintaining public order in London.
While long-term infiltrations into left-wing and anarchist groups did contribute to achieving this goal, the report raised the question of whether the ends justified the means employed.
Sir John concluded that, from the perspective of a police unit, the means were unjustifiable.
Had the public been aware of these tactics at the time, the Special Demonstration Squad would have been swiftly discontinued.
Scope and Future Findings
The interim report focuses solely on the years from 1968 to 1982, covering the establishment of the Special Demonstration Squad.
Further findings will be published later, and Sir John emphasized that the full impact of male police officers’ conduct on women deceived into sexual relationships, as well as the consequences for surviving relatives of deceased children whose identities were used as cover, will be assessed when the inquiry is concluded.