Toronto Star

U.K. police apologize for undercover officers’ ‘abusive’ behaviour

Some were found to have been engaged in sexual affairs with women they snooped on

- THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON— Scotland Yard has settled legal claims from seven female activists who said undercover police had formed “intimate sexual relationsh­ips” while investigat­ing protest movements.

The police apologized Friday for the “totally unacceptab­le” behaviour of a number of undercover officers in the now-disbanded units. The financial terms of the settlement are being kept secret.

Assistant Commission­er Martin Hewitt said “some officers, acting undercover whilst seeking to infiltrate protest groups, entered into long-term intimate sexual relationsh­ips with women which were abusive, deceitful, manipulati­ve and wrong.”

Hewitt said the intimate relationsh­ips were a violation of the women’s human rights and an abuse of police power that caused “significan­t trauma.”

He said the women had been deceived into entering relationsh­ips with the undercover officers.

The police worked for the Special Demonstrat­ion Squad, an undercover unit within the elite Special Branch until 2008, and for the National Public Order Intelligen­ce Unit that ceased operation in 2011.

They infiltrate­d environmen­tal groups, animal rights activists and anarchists.

The British press reported in 2012 that two of the undercover police had fathered children with women from the groups they had infiltrate­d.

Hewitt said the women sought assurances that undercover police officers would not enter into sexual relationsh­ips with subjects in the future.

“They referred to the risks that children could be conceived through and into such relationsh­ips and I understand that,” he said.

 ??  ?? British police said women had been deceived into entering relationsh­ips with undercover officers.
British police said women had been deceived into entering relationsh­ips with undercover officers.

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