Newham victim group “spied on” by Scotland Yard former Met officer claims
A Newham group set up to support victims of police misconduct and racist violence is among those spied upon by Scotland Yard according to a whistle blower.
A Newham group set up to support victims of police misconduct and racist violence is among those spied upon by Scotland Yard a whistle-blower has claimed.
The allegations were made by undercover officer Peter Francis, a former Met officer, who told the Guardian newspaper that he was asked to dig “dirt” on the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.
The allegations provoked anger across the political spectrum and Prime Minister David Cameron has promised an investigation into what he described as the “absolutely disgraceful” disclosure that police sought to discredit the Lawrence family after their loved one was stabbed to death by a racist gang.
It is claimed a second Scotland Yard spy, whose identity is not known, was deployed to gather intelligence on the Newham Monitoring Project for the Yard’s controversial Special Demonstration Squad (SDS).
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The group, based at Harold Road in Upton Park, is now demanding that the name of the second officer is made public immediately for the sake of transparency.
They have also joined others in calling for an independent enquiry, rather than an investigation conducted by the police themselves, into all the allegations about the conduct of the SDS.
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The unidentified spy did not infiltrate the group directly but got inside associated groups and was able to monitor activities, it is claimed.
Speaking about the Newham Monitoring Project, Mr Francis told the Guardian: “Every single event they were organising was being reported back to the SDS. We knew everything that was going on in the NMP.”
The full details of Francis’ deployment are charted in his book Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police, published last week.
In a statement, the Newham Monitoring Project said: “It is alarming that a Metropolitan police undercover surveillance unit targeted us and serves as a reminder of the levels of corruption and misuse of power within the police that we have tirelessly campaigned against for years.”
Scotland Yard declined to comment, saying there would be a police investigation.
NMP was formed more than 30 years ago after statutory agencies failed to respond adequately to the murder of teenager Akhtar Ali Baig by skinheads in East Ham.