UK & World News
Undercover Police Slammed In Misconduct Report
The Metropolitan Police will face criticism today with a report expected to reveal the force kept information gathered by undercover officers that served no purpose in preventing crime.
It follows a review of Scotland Yard's highly secretive Special Demonstrations Squad (SDS), which has reportedly found that grieving families were spied on, including that of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot dead by police in 2005.
The report is expected to say that the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), Special Branch and senior management broke rules about what information could be kept about the subjects of investigations.
Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon was called in to conduct an inquiry into the SDS after allegations were made about misconduct within the unit.
The allegations included claims officers used the identities of dead children without permission, and tricked women into having sexual relationships.
Metropolitan Police personnel are also said to have gathered information on the family of Mr de Menezes, who was shot dead by officers who mistook him for a suicide bomber in July 2005.
In a statement, Mr Creedon said: "My report is very clear that criticism must be levelled at the Metropolitan Police Service for keeping information, which had been gathered by undercover officers, which served no purpose in preventing crime or disorder.
"This is not a criticism of the deployment of the individual officers, but of the lack of regard the SDS, Special Branch and the Metropolitan Police Service senior management paid to the rules and legislation that clearly set out what they should, and should not have, collected and retained."
A spokeswoman for the Jean Charles de Menezes Family Campaign said: "It is shameful that the Metropolitan police spied on the legitimate campaign activities of a grieving family who were simply trying to get the answers they deserved after their loved one was killed by police officers.
"It begs the question - what exactly were the police spying for? We can only assume they were gathering information in an attempt to discredit the family's campaign for justice in order to deflect accountability for their own failings."
The SDS has also been accused of infiltrating campaign groups close to the family of murder victim Stephen Lawrence.
It's also claimed that officers gathered information to "smear" his relatives' reputations.
Mr Creedon said there was no evidence that officers targeted black justice campaigns deliberately.
"To date we have found no evidence that any SDS officer targeted or infiltrated any family member of any Justice Campaign, nor the Justice Campaign itself, and we can find no trace of any personal information about family members having been recorded by them," he said.