Mark Kennedy: Police ‘knew about’ undercover cop’s sexual

Mark Kennedy: Police 'knew about' undercover cop's sexual
Mark Kennedy: Police 'knew about' undercover cop's sexual
Mark Kennedy: Police 'knew about' undercover cop's sexual
Mark Kennedy: Police ‘knew about’ undercover cop’s sexual

Police have admitted that supervisors knew about a sexual relationship between an undercover officer who operated in Notts and a member of public – and let it continue – campaigners say.

Kate Wilson, who was involved with Mark Kennedy for two years, has accused managing officers in the Metropolitan Police of conspiring to “deceive and abuse” her.

PC Kennedy spent seven years posing as long-haired dropout Mark Stone, infiltrating environmental campaign groups in Notts.

After his role emerged, charges against six eco-protesters in connection with a planned protest at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station were dropped in 2011, and the convictions of 20 more were overturned.

Ms Wilson, a social and environmental justice activist, is one of eight women who took the Met Police to court after they were duped into relationships by undercover officers.

After reaching a settlement with seven of them in 2015, the Met said the relationships would not have been authorised in advance or used as a tactic.

Ms Wilson won a High Court battle against the Met in 2016 after it withdrew from the case.

She stated at the time that supervising officers were negligent and had acted improperly in causing or allowing the relationship to happen, accusing the force of dropping its defence to avoid handing over key documents “at any cost”.

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal is due to hear her case against the Met, alleging breaches of the Human Rights Act on October 3.

A document released on Friday by Police Spies Out Of Lives, the organisation which provides legal support to the women, said police have “admitted to the Tribunal that an as yet unknown number of cover officers and a line manager knew about and acquiesced to the relationship”.

“This means at least eight police officers were complicit in deceiving Ms Wilson in a long-term, intimate relationship, and suggests a deliberate strategy, and not a ‘failure of supervision’ as claimed,” the document states.

The document also says the police are yet to disclose “relevant secret documents” to the Tribunal.

Ms Wilson’s relationship with Mr Kennedy began in 2003, although he was not unmasked until 2011.

She said her case raises “serious questions” and a “proper court hearing” is needed to examine the evidence.

Ms Wilson said in a statement: “It has taken me eight painful years to discover that managing officers really did conspire to deceive and abuse me, something the police had consistently denied.

“The wider questions for society here are massive, this is about institutional sexism, senior police officers sanctioning sexual abuse, and the systematic violation of human rights because of political beliefs, and we still don’t have the whole truth.”

In November 2015 Scotland Yard apologised to the eight women who had been deceived by the undercover officers and admitted they had been “abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong”.

They said such a relationship would “never be authorised in advance” nor used as a tactic and they were “failures of supervision and management”.

The Met said on Friday that it would be “inappropriate” to comment on Ms Wilson’s ongoing civil action at the tribunal.

A spokesman said: “The MPS has made clear its position on long-term, sexual relationships known to have been entered into by some undercover officers in the past. Those relationships were wrong and should not have happened.”

The force said it was providing “every assistance” to a broader inquiry into undercover policing by the now-defunct Special Demonstration Squad and National Public Order Intelligence Unit.

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