In the Media

New allegations of wrong-doing by undercover police | Rob Evans

PUBLISHED February 20, 2012

Watchdog report into Mark Kennedy controversy found new allegations of wrong-doing but they so far remain secret

The authorities are saying precious little about the latest allegations of wrongdoing to hit the police over their long-running operation to infiltrate and disrupt political groups.

The new allegations came to light when an official police watchdog published a report into the undercover policing controversy earlier this month.

It seems that the police could have been running their operations unlawfully over a five-year period, but the details are so far vague.

Officially, it is admitted that the allegations relate to "potential issues of authorisation between 2000 and 2005 under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act".

That 2000 act was introduced to govern the way surveillance is conducted in this country and regulates how undercover officers are deployed.

For instance, police need to get authorisation under the act from a superintendent or higher rank before an undercover officer is sent out into the field.

We would of course be interested to hear more details of these allegations if anyone cares to let us know.

The allegations came to the notice of Sir Dennis O'Connor, the head of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) when he was looking at the Mark Kennedy controversy.

He decided that there were of sufficient concern to bring them to the attention of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

However there is a fear that the allegations could disappear into a dark void. The IPCC has not been moved to launch an investigation into the allegations.

Instead Moir Stewart, the IPCC's director of investigations (after 33 years in the Metropolitan Police), has asked Scotland Yard to "consider whether the matters raised" by O'Connor are "referable" - in other words, serious enough to require the IPCC to investigate.

So it seems that the public has to trust the Met to own up and tell the IPCC if anything wrong has happened here. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds