In 2010, Mark Stone, an environmental activist, was on vacation together with his girlfriend when she found a passport for a person known as Mark Kennedy within the glove field of their van. The person she was in a relationship with was truly a police officer who for seven years had lived deep undercover on the coronary heart of the environmental protest motion. When the story turned public, senior officers tried to quell the outcry, insisting that Kennedy was merely a rogue officer. The truth is, the alternative was true. Kennedy was simply one in all many footsoldiers who had been routinely infiltrating political teams, totally on the left, since way back to 1968.
Anushka Asthana talks to the Guardian’s Paul Lewis and Rob Evans about their decade-long work with activists to analyze police spies. Officers’ deployments usually lasted 4 to 5 years, with them dwelling alongside political campaigners, forming deep bonds of friendship, or having romantic liaisons with their targets. No less than three of the police spies fathered kids with ladies they met whereas undercover. The existence of a squad of officers despatched deep undercover in political teams was so secret that lots of the UK’s most senior cops had been oblivious till they started studying the reviews within the Guardian 10 years in the past.
Anushka additionally hears from Jessica (a pseudonym), who in 1992 when she was 19 had a year-long sexual relationship with Andy, a fellow activist. In 2017 she found that Andy was actually Andy Coles, a police spy, who had been 32 on the time. She believes she was “groomed” by Coles and describes the devastating impression the invention has had on her life. Coles has denied that he had an intimate relationship with Jessica whereas he infiltrated political teams within the 90s, dismissing her claims as “lurid”.
The publicity of this community of spies has led to a public inquiry that’s analyzing the covert infiltration of political teams and can look at the conduct of numerous undercover officers, together with Coles.
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