On 20 November 2015 the Metropolitan Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt issued an apology to seven women who brought claims against the Metropolitan Police after being tricked into intimate sexual relationships with undercover Police Officers. The relationships took place over 25 years by five Officers from two undercover Police Units – the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) which was shut down in 2008 and the separate National Police Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) which was disbanded in 2011. Both units deployed Officers on long term undercover operations to infiltrate campaign groups involved in political or social causes such as environmental campaigns and animal rights.
It is recorded one Officer from the Metropolitan Police fathered a child with a campaigner upon whom he was spying. In each case the Officers eventually disappeared leaving their partners searching for years for answers.
Assistant Commissioner Hewitt stated the women were “deceived – pure and simple”. Despite supposedly stringent legal controls he admitted there had been no proper management of the deployments. He stated sexual relationships between undercover Police Officers and members of the public should not happen. He stated the forming of a sexual relationship by an undercover Officer would never be authorised in advance nor used as a tactic of deployment. Any such future relationship would be investigated for potential criminal and/or misconduct proceedings.
The women brought claims against the Metropolitan Police which settled following mediation for confidential sums of compensation.
The undercover Officers’ actions had devastating consequences for the victims some of whom believed they had found their life partners. Some had children with them not knowing they were Police Officers sent to spy on them.
Officers gathered information on environmental, animal rights and various left wing groups.
Unfortunately it appears there may be more victims some of whom do not currently know that the person with whom they had a sexual relationship with was actually an undercover Police Officer.