Protest against abuse of women by police spies


10:00 am - January 23rd 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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A group of women are holding a protest tomorrow morning in London against what they call an abuse of women by police spies.

It comes in the wake of revelations in the Guardian about police spies infiltrating peaceful green movements.

The front page of the Observer today states that undercover policemen were cleared to have sex with activists.

Undercover police officers routinely adopted a tactic of “promiscuity” with the blessing of senior commanders, according to a former agent who worked in a secretive unit of the Metropolitan police for four years. The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for both men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups.

Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence

In reaction to the revelations, a “blockade” of Scotland Yard is being organised for tomorrow.

On their Facebook page they say:

Women in the UK should not have to worry about being sexually abused by policemen. It is as simple as that.

In response, we call for women to come together for a blockade of Scotland Yard, in protest at political policing and in solidarity with all women who have been exploited by men they thought they could trust.

It is likely that the police officers and their superiors have committed the criminal offence of misconduct in public office, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The plan is to meet outside Scotland Yard at 8am on Monday morning, January 24th.

The protest will be led by women but men are also welcome.

There are also calls for a fully independent judge-led public inquiry into policy spying.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


[deleted]

If your going to affect peoples and hospitals electricity supplies then the police need to find out what’s going on if these hippies are sexually active in their groups then who’s using who? Takes two to tango!

I assume that these protesters will also make a valiant effort to not have a double standard and acknowledge that WPC’s, female mi5 and mi6 agents also get sent into undercover operations and probably sleep with men in order to gain information as well, and thus the protesters will recognise that men can also be ‘ sexually abused’ by the authorities in this way?

Eh? Adult women complaining that men lied them into bed?

All a bit Victorian isn’t it? bit of an attack of the vapours?

But, but, he promised that he would marry me but just had his wicked way and ruined me?

@ Tim Worstall

No, it’s Rape, misleading a person into sex does not allow them to give their considered consent, without consent, sex is rape.

This is the same charge that’s been leveled so recently at Julian Assange. If he is to be charged with rape, then these police officers, both male and female, must also be charged with rape.

1, 2 and 3: Oh shut up. None of the stories that have come out are about female officers sleeping with male activists, so the protest is perfectly judged at this point, being specifically related to these cases that have come to light. And it is a completely different thing for a someone to feed you line to get you into bed, than it is for institutionalised abuse through lying for the purposes of illiciting information from you. It’s not even good police work, as the cases against these activists collapsed when the undercover police officers involvement was found out.
On another note: go and grow the capacity for rational thought and compassion!

“No, it’s Rape, misleading a person into sex does not allow them to give their considered consent, without consent, sex is rape.”

We seem to have ended up with a very strange definition of rape then.

“Yes, of course it’s a real Rolex”. “Yes, of course I’ll respect you in the morning”. “No, I’m not married”.

These are all rape?

Strange damned idea of human sexuality you’ve got there. Given that no one ever tells a prospective sexual partner everything about themselves before actually bedding them it would seem to make sex impossible.

“But if I’d known that you had a mullet when you were 19, then I wouldn’t have slept with you!”.

@5 – if this is rape within the law, then there is something very wrong with the law.

9. ambrose murphy

@akheloios

Yes, it’s similar to the Assange case, isn’t it? Don’t you worry that an essentially contractual analysis of rape trivializes the crime, which in its essence is a crime of violence, of hate of contempt?

If you make the crime contractual, you’d better start over with a whole new approach to sentencing, and maybe simply a whole new name. Telling someone you’re not married, or have a bigger job than you do, or are richer, or went to a fancy university, (or even believe in environmentalism and you’re not a cop) in order to impress them and make them more likely to have sex with you, simply is not behaviour of the same order as holding a knife to someone to force them to have sex they don’t want. Shouldn’t be punished the same way (at all? – discuss), and doesn’t deserve the same name.

That comment should have been aimed at 4 as well. Sometimes I wonder at the fact that this is a left-leaning / progressive comment section – I’m sure you couldn’t find more old-fashioned attitudes to abuse than on here sometimes. In fact I think there are almost definitely quite a lot of right-wing people who would see this as the abuse that it is! For shame.

7. Tim, answer my point in my post: 6. Ignoring it is just pointing to the holes in your own threadbare argument.

12. ambrose murphy

Emily, agreed “it is a completely different thing for a someone to feed you line to get you into bed, than it is for institutionalised abuse through lying for the purposes of illiciting information from you,” though you’ll have to justify or at least define “abuse”. The point is these two things are more similar to each other than either is to rape, which at its essence disregards the victim’s will completely, rather than attempts to mislead it. For that disregard, that denial of a person’s humanity, it’s one of the worst crimes and one of the heaviest-punished. stretching the category to cover this other stuff is dangerous, i think.

If the women involved feel used and exploited, I don’t blame them, but it’s not rape, for god’s sake – it’s not sexual abuse either – people seem to enjoy devaluing important words.

@ 11: sorry, which point? This one?

“And it is a completely different thing for a someone to feed you line to get you into bed, than it is for institutionalised abuse through lying for the purposes of illiciting information from you.”

But going undercover does mean going undercover. If you’re undercover in a mileu where unmarried people do indeed have consensual sex then having consensual sex would be part of going undercover.

Offering to shag the local maidens wouldn’t work if you were undercover among the Amish. Going undercover in a hippy commune and not having failry liberal standards about sex similarly wouldn’t work.

I’m just fine (although I would disagree) with you arguing that the undercover stuf should never have happened. But the idea that grown up women have been raped because an undercover cop had a bit of nookie stretches credulity way too far.

For a start it grossly demeans those who really have been raped by not undercover cops and torturers in the more vile regimes around the world.

Hands up everyone who wants to say that the rape before execution of virgins in Iran (for virgins may not be executed) is the same as a 6 month casual affair with someone deceiving you by being an undercover cop?

Yes, I know Douglas Adams said that the one thing a human cannot have is a real sense of proportion about the universe but please, equating these two things is absurd.

ambrose @12 makes my point for me, and more eloquently.

Incidentally, the claim about state-sanctioned sex comes from a self-confessed liar and, in the view of some, a rapist or sexual abuser! But how quick people are to believe what he says…

I don’t recall the Met or ACPO ever admitting to lying*.

(* this sentence contains very, very dry humour.)

14: Rape is having sex without someone’s consent – I don’t see how you can give your full consent to being spied on and had sex with by a member of an institution that us supposed to protect you. Rape and battery is different because battery is involved and would be perhaps more traumatic, rape and execution is even still more extreme and an atrocity. Do you think the people who see this as an abuse are so wedded to a caricature of feminism that you present that they can’t see a difference between those things? Even the senior police officers involved in this operation have outwardly (whatever they’ve said inwardly) said that these officers have behaved with gross professional misconduct – and you’re not even prepared to go that far. How absolutely ridiculous!

[deleted]

18. ambrose murphy

16. Note the difficulty you have with “consent” and “full consent”, both in one sentence. This is not easy. “Rape and battery is different”. Not sure – I think rape is a form of battery, even an aggravated form of battery, that treats the victim as if her will, choice and consent were utterly unimportant.

once you focus on consent, on degrees of informed consent, you’re using contractual analysis. And there are good reasons most contract cases are not criminal matters (and rape MUST always be criminal, or we’re insane).

As for gross professional misconduct, agreed. tim thinks you need to have spies, and spies have to be undercover, so do drugs in drugs gangs and sleep around in the environmental movement. not sure, myself.

i think we have to draw a line somewhere, and it’s quite a long way from here. it’s not silly to point to all the other lies people tell for sex, and to ask why if this lie destroys consent, the others don’t. if she lies about her age, have i been raped? i don’t think so. if she lies about agreeing with my most important views in life and being a spy? i still don’t think so. Betrayed, yes, “abused” in an emotional sense, but that doesn’t entitle me to go to law.

there was a case in Germany a few years ago where the person lied about having AIDS. Now there you’re getting close to rape. But i don’t think the charge was rape – could be wrong – but a battery. Or about being someone’s close blood relative, maybe, so you deceive someone into committing incest. and i don’t know how cases where the lie was I’ve had a vasectomy have gone, but not rape, i don’t think.

OTOH as Sir Robert Mark, a previous Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, used to say: ‘a good police force is one that catches more crooks than it employs’:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/politics-obituaries/8037604/Sir-Robert-Mark.html

I don’t see that the protesters are saying that it was rape, just that it was abuse.

And quite frankly, if you lie about why you had sex, and then you get caught out in that lie, you can hardly expect to get off scot-free. It’s human nature to be angry at someone lying to you. Isn’t this a bit of men wanting to have a double-standard “oh, it’s fine for us to lie to you, and if you get upset about being lied to, you’re just suffering a case of womanly vapours.” Tim Worstall’s the one being Victorian here, wanting men to be able to have it both ways, to be able to lie, and not to pay any social punishment for lying.

Perhaps we don’t want to make it criminal to lie for the purposes of having sex, but that doesn’t mean that there should be no payback at all.

So the police are now sanctioning raping woman while on duty? I suppose we should not be surprised seeing as they long ago sanctioned killing demonstrators. Or anyone else who they don’t like.

No surprise to see the pretend libertarian trolls have no problem with this. Right wing trolls do love their jack boots.

What is interesting is that the global elites have now decided than the green movement is up there with terrorists, and therefore warrants this kind of shit. No descent will be tolerated from our corporate masters. Why don’t the police infiltrate some corporate companies and find out how many laws are being broken? Because the right wing would scream police state and David Davis would get all upset.

If an adult lies to another adult in order to get them into bed, does it constitute criminality? I agree that it is unethical / immoral but is it criminal? How ‘big’ or of what nature does the lie have to be, or is it any lie whatsoever (as some commenters suggest)*?

I don’t think it constitutes criminality.

That said, if the women who undercover officer Saunders had sex with feel used and exploited, I don’t blame them, and they should complain if they feel that is the right thing to do.

As for this:

Women in the UK should not have to worry about being sexually abused by policemen.

The vast, vast majority of women in the UK shouldn’t worry about such a thing, even if we accept the definition of “sexual abuse” there, because the chance of it occurring are infinitesimal.

Tracy,

I don’t see that the protesters are saying that it was rape, just that it was abuse.

That’s right – it is some commenters here who are saying it was rape.

Sally, your programming appears to have improved. How confident is your creator about you passing the Turing Test?

It’s definitely sleazy as hell. It’s unethical too.

Silly to call it abuse though. Apart from anything else, this sort of hyperbole detracts from the real concerns the public may have with this tactic.

[deleted]

sally,

Why don’t the police infiltrate some corporate companies and find out how many laws are being broken?

Surprisingly, this is an apposite point. But there are three counterpoints that spring to mind:

1. Unlike some environmentalists, companies haven’t threatened to shut down critical infrastructure;

2. Companies are obliged to undergo various tests (e.g. audits) in order to ensure compliance with the law that environmentalists are not;

3. In general, police officers are not trained to deal with this type of criminality – for that you need to look to the FSA.

Oh and,

4. Easier to infiltrate a protest group than get a job.

26

You miss the most important point which is our corporate masters don’t want their theifdoms investigated . It would not be difficult to get some police with accountancy training to investigate some of the big accounts firms, and fins all the fraud that goes on. They could stay undercover and rape the secretaries. But the politicians are their puppets and so do what they are told.

I got some stick the other day for not supporting the police going on strike. But as long as they are the army of the corporate world they can fuck right off with their industrial disputes.

sally,

You miss the most important point which is our corporate masters don’t want their theifdoms investigated.

But they are investigated nonetheless.

You may dislike the outcomes but it doesn’t mean there are no investigations. I just now searched an England and Wales judgements database for “fraud” and saw over 5,000 results.

It would not be difficult to get some police with accountancy training to investigate some of the big accounts firms, and fins all the fraud that goes on. They could stay undercover and rape the secretaries. But the politicians are their puppets and so do what they are told.

If my firm has a vacancy how will the undercover officer win against all the other candidates?

In contrast, protest groups are probably (1) grateful to people for turning up and (2) less stringent about their qualifications.

We have agencies other than the police that are focussed on and trained in corporate wrongdoing: the Financial Services Authority, the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC…

30. the a&e charge nurse

“The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for BOTH men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups” – I might be wrong but I suspect few would keep a straight face if men complained of being sexually “abused” (to use the rhetoric in the OP title) by undercover female cops?

If a female activist was bedded by a female cop would this enticement be just as sinister?

Even if a cop DID use deception wouldn’t it be a price worth paying if the couple had fantastic sex?

[deleted]

So people telling you lies to get you into bed is rape?? Damn I’ve been raped twice then!

If as the media is reporting (and I’ll admit that’s always taken with a pinch of salt) that police not having sex with these people would have seemed odd (I’m assuming the groups were promiscuous) then by all means let them have sex I’m sure there are women in the security services doing the same thing, look at mata hari (sp) she used her body to steal secrets, women can be as underhand as men sometimes more so! Suggest you grow up and stop thinking your the fairer sex, equality works both ways.

I often wonder when reading C.I.D. Sally’s posts how deep the MET have penetrated.

There’s a lot of trivialising rape going on in this thread, #25 being a key example which actually shocked me with its lack of basic humanity and its victim-blaming.

Rape is clearly not a uniform experience. To say that one violent act is wrong does not demean those who have suffered from other kinds of violent acts.

I don’t know whether this falls under rape in a legal sense, but many definitions of rape would clearly cover it.

Regardless of whether you call this rape or not, intimate relationships have been established on the basis of not only a complete fraud, but with the attempt of undermining everything a person is working towards. Human beings are damaged by this, and I hope there is some way of prosecuting the undercover officers and those who authorised them. (Though I’m not holding my breath. I’m also not holding my breath for Christian Institute, Christian Voice et al being consistent and campaigning against this practice.)

Personally I don’t think these “tactics” are justifiable even in the case of actual terrorist groups. We romanticise this kind of action because of its prevalence in popular culture, but at an actual human level it has horrific consequences. Arguments about whether the (unreliable) information gained justifies the means seem analagous to arguments over the use of torture to get information. James Bond has as much to answer for as Jack Bauer, it seems.

35. john p reid

[deleted]

36. the a&e charge nurse

[34] “Personally I don’t think these “tactics” are justifiable” neither do I, not least because the intelligence is unlikely to have any significant effect on the wider political issues – something akin to nabbing a few low level drug dealers might be one possible comparitor?

Having said that I do not buy into your idea about criminalising somebody for a negative sexual experience – if a capacitated adult willingly decides to have sex with somebody then surely they must assume responsibility for their own actions?

Some say accepting personal responsibility is a sign of maturity?

#36

Abuse of trust on this intimate level is considered a crime in the case of bigamy. Would you argue someone who has married a married person unwittingly should also “assume responsibility for their actions”?

I acknowledge that it might not fall under the legal definition of rape, but I hope there is some way the police officers involved can be prosecuted for this, as a deterrent to others to act in this way in the future.

These accusations of rape are obscuring a central point in this OP: Following previous revelations about police agents having sex with members of the groups they were infiltrating there was an instant rebuttal and condemnation by ACPO. It would now seem to be contradicted by the statment by the copper in today’s piece. What are we to believe?

Given that it seems that police agents had sex with people they wer spying on over a long period of time it looks like ACPO are telling porkies again. Either that or they’re incompetent.

ACPO is, of course, a limited company and therefore exempt from Freedom of Information legislation. Given the public nature of their role it’s surprising and convenient. Why haven’t the freedom-loving libertarian right picked up on this? Answers on a postcard to Theresa May, please…

Cherub,

Following previous revelations about police agents having sex with members of the groups they were infiltrating there was an instant rebuttal and condemnation by ACPO. It would now seem to be contradicted by the statment by the copper in today’s piece. What are we to believe?

Why believe the copper or ACPO? Why not wait for at least the outcome of any inquiry?

Probably other old codgers like myself can recall the times when it was often said,”I think the British police are wonderful,” or some similar sentiment. But I’ve not heard that for a long, long time.

It’s not just a matter of members of the Metropolitan police who were engaging in covert surveillance of a group having sexual relations with members of that group to the extent of fathering children but the disproportionate scale of this surveillance operation and the fact that the target group was a collection of environmental activists, not a group of terrorists intent on killing innocent people by the score as happened on 7/7 or at Mumbai.

We are entitled, I think, as taxpayers to ask whether the relevant ministers and government departments consider this a proper use of public expenditure and also about the chain of command that authorised the operation. As the facts of the operation have gradually trickled out, it has become increasingly evident that there has to be a full judicial inquiry so that all the relevant facts and issues are put into the public domain.

@39 ukliberty

Did you intentionally miss my point? Yes, we’ll wait for an inquiry. It’s the usual way that scandals are bowled into the long grass. We’ll hear the truth in a few years’ time when it is less relevant.

Meanwhile a limited company, exempt from the normal checks and balances of the police, seems to be running police intelligence operations. The operations seem to be questionably undertaken given the likely threat posed and to have used tactics that most people would find unacceptable.

Are you really happy about this?

It’s totally unethical behaviour by the police if it’s true that it was sanctioned.

And just like every other case that LC talks about when charges or allegations are made against defendants …. show me the proof or it’s just an allegation.

If this was sanctioned by some police in authority then they should be fired from the police force. And in the same way, any police acting as agent provocateurs on things like the G20 protest should not only be thrown out of the force, but have charges brought against them as well, and anyone involved in the ”conspiracy” should also be punnished.

I await this proof. And when/if it comes, I will enjoy seeing those coppers get the book thrown at them.
Untill then, it’s mere speculation.

Cherub,

Are you really happy about this?

Oh Christ, another mind-reader.

For the record, here are my posts about ACPO. I don’t recall ever being complimentary.

[deleted]

Idiotic comments by, well, idiots, have been deleted.

One does have to wonder where the police will stop in their “lets get close to the target” policy?

I mean will they start abusing children to get the trust of paedophiles?

I read somewhere that some undercover cop had to watch child porn and pretend to like it. Rape is rape. Forming relationships under false pretences is forming relationships under false pretences.

“Abuse of trust on this intimate level is considered a crime in the case of bigamy. Would you argue someone who has married a married person unwittingly should also “assume responsibility for their actions”?”

Erm, marriage, at least traditionally, involves the promise to “foresake all others until death us do part”.

And it is very much part of the marriage contract that you cannot contract it with more than one other person.

Quite what this has to do with shagging or not between single consenting adults is unknown.

Indeed, actually, a large part of the societal changes about sex and sexuality over the past few decades have been exactly about distinguishing these two points.

It used to be that you only shagged within marriage: and if shagging around did occur after marriage well, just suck it up for the sake of the marriage.

We now say shag who you wish when you wish: but having promised not to do so having married then such shags mean the end of said marriage.

@47: “Forming relationships under false pretences is forming relationships under false pretences.”

There is a critically acclaimed German movie about the surveillance of a suspected subversive couple by a member of the Stasi – which monitored the lives of the 16 million citizens of the German Democratic Republic and kept active files on about a third of the population: The lives of others (2007)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lives-Others-DVD-Martina-Gedeck/dp/B000R342QS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295811182&sr=1-1

(Reuters) – For decades, Joachim Fritsch struggled to understand why he was being denied access to higher education and passed over for job promotions again and again.

Then he got hold of a 400-page file East Germany’s dreaded secret police had compiled on him. The Stasi had arrested him back in the mid-1950s when he was just 17 years old and branded him a “provocateur” for failing to produce his identity card.

The arrest left an indelible mark on his record, leading the Stasi to watch him closely and thwart repeated attempts by Fritsch to get on with his life.

“I was absolutely overwhelmed when I read my files,” the 73-year-old told Reuters, poring over copies of his personal file in his small flat on the 10th floor of an east Berlin high rise. “You enter your past hesitantly, step by step.”

Fritsch is one of hundreds of thousands who have read their Stasi files. Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the government agency set up to oversee them is still inundated with requests and has a two-year backlog. . .
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE59S17520091029

@49 Bob

Nope. Totally missing your point. And it sounds like an interesting one.. spell it out to me I am always stoned by this time on a Sunday

@43 ukliberty

I’d not read your postings, which may have been written before I took an interest in LC.

You still see fit to make a sarcastic comment about mind reading and avoid the point I made. Classic trolling.

@50: “Nope. Totally missing your point. ”

What sort of “personal reports” did the (how many?) covert surveillance officers of the Metropolitan Police file on members of the group of environmental activists they had infiltrated to monitor? And remember, this surveillance by infiltration was going on for years, long enough for one of the officers to have married one of the activists in the course of his surveillance duties and fathered two children.

Remember too that the security services in Britain claimed to have been too pressed to find the staff resources to monitor those eventually implicated in the terrorist attacks on 7/7 in 2005.

53. john p reid

[deleted]

Cherub, OK, I’ll bite – what did I write that made you think I am happy about ACPO and its lack of accountability?

55. john p reid

the peoples popular front of Judiea and the judieas peoples popular front must be laughing their heads,off, why don’t you call Mark kennedy a rapist so he can sue you ,Sunny

Don’t wish to sound trite, as abuse is pretty much the right phrase, but I think ACPO should be done on health and safety grounds. It is left field for ACPO, and crucially is not arbitrated by the cabbal of Police complaints committees that are packed with friends of Hugh Ordure. I also think there is something to be said for underlining that ACPO are not really a police force, but a private company. Going to Scotland Yard gives these privateers (I very much doubt they are sworn in as constables) a bit more credibility.

Worth reading: Jackie Ashley on:

The Andy Coulson affair raises the question – who runs Britain?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/23/newspapers-hack-illegal-surveillance-coulson

@52 Bob- Good point about 7/7 intelligence

59. Just Visiting

Something strike mes, just coming into the thread fresh.

Sex (according to Sunny and few others) is still a ‘very serious’ thing.

These undercover agents must of course have done lots of things that were based on lies – maybe they were introduced to the parents /family of some. Maybe they entered into financial arrangements with some (shared rental costs, or bought a car together), shared ‘special times’ = holidays together.

But all the fuss in this thread is about the sex – the sex betrayal is it seems, more important than those other ‘betrayals’ I’ve listed.

I am heartened, as that’s kind of my view too.

But this view is contrast to the common treatment of sex on LC and in liberal circles, a kind of minimising of sex: ‘it’s merely a bodily function’, ‘any which you want it is fine so long as it is consensual’, ‘good sex is good sex no matter you are married, in a stable relationship, one night stand or whatever’.

60. Just Visiting

Tim f (34)

> I’m also not holding my breath for Christian Institute, Christian Voice et al being consistent and campaigning against this practice.)

Sorry, but this thread had no religious dimension – but you wrote the above – there is no connection from this thread to the groups, that I can fathom?

Secondly, it sounds like religious bigotry – why do you single out only 1 religion’s groups for criticism – Christianity is not the only religion that puts a high value on marriage and sex.

I wonder if there is an LC version of Godwin’s law – eventually, in any thread that goes on long enough, Christianity will be criticised ! :<)

It’s odd that everyone is arguing about whether the offence was rape or not when the post quotes the following:

It is likely that the police officers and their superiors have committed the criminal offence of misconduct in public office, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Unless it really is standard operating procedure for police officers to sleep with people they’re investigating, maybe they’ve a better chance of a successful prosecution for this offence rather than rape. Hence the demo?

PS: For those of you wondering about whether female police officers get involved in this kind of strategy, there’s always the case of Colin Stagg.

#60

Fair point about it being a bit of a leap, but really it was just a remark in passing.

I singled out Christianity & especially those organisations because I’m an evangelical Christian myself and frustrated at their claim to represent me. It does feel sometimes like their dominionist politics picks on targets they feel they can unite a base around rather than speaking prophetically in a consistent way based on God’s word. I do think that any Christian organisation that speaks regularly on sex and marriage should be willing to stand in the gap and up to the authorities on an issue like this. However, I believe in second (and third, and seventy-seventh) chances, & will praise them if they display some consistency and campaign on this issue too.

It may well be that other religious groups that “put a high premium on marriage and sex” are hypocritical too, but I’m not really in a position to know that as my knowledge of them and their campaigning practices is more limited.

btw, in terms of your post at #59, I agree that there were other types of serious betrayal too but that the “sex betrayal” as you put it, or abuse or rape as others put it, is more important.

Well. This is certainly an interesting take on the old honey-trap method of espionage. Glad to see the police prioritizing green activist groups rather than say, you know, someone who’s actually a threat. Gotta be incompetent while you’re being illegal after all.

@63: “Gotta be incompetent while you’re being illegal after all.”

And wasting public expenditure on a grand scale – which is among the other reasons why we need an inquiry to learn about the chain of command in the Metropolitan Police which authorised all this.

No one will be safe until we all sign consent forms before shagging!

Using the logic that some people have been advocating here. The people that Bernie Madoff defrauded aren’t actually victims of fraud because they were happy to give their money at the time, as they only later found out that they’d been lied to.

If you been deprived of the ability to give informed consent, then you haven’t given consent. Without informed consent sex is rape, even if you were happy to enter into the relationship at the time. Just because the sense of violation happens ex post facto doesn’t mean it is any less serious than the sense of violation that occurred if someone had been pressured into immediate sex through violence or the threat of violence.

As for Peter @32, just because you did not feel a sense of violation after you found out that you had been lied to, doesn’t mean other people don’t.

redpesto, the reason people are arguing about whether or not it is rape is that some people keep claiming it is. Anyway,

Unless it really is standard operating procedure for police officers to sleep with people they’re investigating, maybe they’ve a better chance of a successful prosecution for this offence rather than rape. Hence the demo?

Quite right. Here are the CPS guidelines and additional information.

Akheloios, it isn’t rape in English law, regardless of what technical terms (such as informed consent) and crimes in other jurisdictions you abuse.

And that’s very possibly why – as redpesto pointed out – the protestors are calling for a misconduct in public office charge.

@ukliberty – thanks for the link. I think this bit might be relevant to quote:

“those who hold public office carry out their duties for the benefit of the public as a whole and, if they abuse their office, there is a breach of the public’s trust” (Para 57). [emphasis added]

Whatever else, the shagging to enable the Metropolitan Police infiltrate a group of environmental activists was paid for by taxpayers. What we need to know is who authorised this expenditure.

Over the weekend I visited my ex after she invited me round for some no strings sex. Afterwards she spoke about her hope we would get back together.

I thought I had a good weekend, but now I realise I’ve been raped I’ve been rocked to my core.

Thanks for that

A legal view, from the defence lawyer in the Mark Kennedy case:

There could also be claims for misfeasance in public office. While the police may claim that they did have stringent policies and that a couple of rogue officers fell in love while on the job, the sheer number of sexual relationships between activists and undercover officers looks like something more than a coincidence. It is surely inconceivable that the authorities didn’t know, or that they didn’t at least tacitly approve of, sexual relationships as part of the methodology of police spying.

And it would pretty sexist of the Met to allow only men to infiltrate groups, or to bar female undercover officers from sleeping with activists under such a policy.

@71: “I thought I had a good weekend, but now I realise I’ve been raped I’ve been rocked to my core.”

Whatever – but in your case there was no public expenditure of taxpayers’ money by the Metropolitan Police and no diversion of police resources away from other potential uses of covert police operatives. The security services were pleading insufficient staff resources to monitor those eventually implicated in the terrorist outrages on 7/7 in 2005.

The supposed “rape” issue is just a trivial red-herring trailed to distract attention away from important questions about who authorised the public expenditure on this benighted covert operation to infiltrate a group of environmental activists. There really are more pressing accountability issues about police surveillance priorities and resource management in the Metropolitan Police.

Bob B @70 and your other comments, I agree with the principle underlying these comments. If there are finite resources and there is a claim that there are not enough resources to monitor suspected mass murderers, I do wonder why we are monitoring (mostly peaceful) activists.

(I say ‘mostly’ because some have threatened to shut down power plants etc.)

redpesto, from that article:

There could also be claims for misfeasance in public office. While the police may claim that they did have stringent policies and that a couple of rogue officers fell in love while on the job, the sheer number of sexual relationships between activists and undercover officers looks like something more than a coincidence. It is surely inconceivable that the authorities didn’t know, or that they didn’t at least tacitly approve of, sexual relationships as part of the methodology of police spying.

It seems to me entirely conceivable that people may end up having sex if they are mutually sexually attracted and spend some time together. Do also remember that her argument is based on a claim made by undercover Mark Kennedy, who also claimed that “Everybody knew [environmental activism] was a very promiscuous lifestyle… You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups. Otherwise you’ll stand out straightaway.”

Oh, and

There could also be claims for misfeasance in public office.

The claimant will have to show material harm – AIUI stress and anxiety isn’t enough.

@74: “(I say ‘mostly’ because some have threatened to shut down power plants etc.)”

At various times and places, community groups have mobilised to close down pubs, clubs, and sex shops etc but the case for police surveillance is less than convincing. Also, the power plants in question were mostly coal-burning and grossly polluting power plants.

That said, while there have been silly and costly demos by environmental activist groups (eg the disposal of the Brent Spar platform in 1995), the power plant environmentalist campaign in this case seems to have had the dimensions of a damp squib from the start:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brent_Spar

The truth of the matter is that anti-nuclear protests (Greenham Common), open-air pop-music festivals and environmental campaigns have long exercised a magnetic appeal for some women seeking better social diversions. I suspect, too, that the police assigned to the task of infiltrating the polluting power stations group of activists looked upon it as an attractive alternative to routine police duties. There are an increasing range of unresolved issues about resource management by the Metropolitan Police.

Mention has been made above of the infamous attempt to entrap Colin Stagg on a murder charge. There is also the scale of resources deployed to shoot Mark Saunders in 2008:

“Mark Saunders was shot dead at his home in Markham Square, South-West London, on May 6, 2008, after a five-hour stand-off with the police. He was hopelessly drunk when he was hit in the head and chest by five ­ of the bullets fired by seven policemen stationed in nearby houses. .

“Yesterday, the inquest was told that police were carrying more than 100 guns, including high-velocity rifles, 9mm Glock self-loading pistols and MP5 carbines, as well as Tasers and CS gas. A total of 59 armed officers were posted around the house.”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1316398/Mark-Saunders-armed-drunk-deranged-But-wasnt-7-officer-shooting-overkill.html

I think the problem here is the definition of what is rape and what is sexual abuse.

This would be solved if rape was redefined to include all penetrative sex, consensual or not.

All other sexual actions could be defined as sexual abuse, starting with unwanted eye contact.

@73

Whatever – But in my case there was no covert police work being done so I had no reason for a budget.

Why do you say diversion? I think undercover police who are actively working undercover are doing their job, rather than a diversion from something else.

@78 I think the point Bob B is making is that resources are apparently strapped when it comes to infiltrating dangerous terrorist cells, but plentiful when infiltrating milquetoast green groups where the women are generally promiscuous. Whether they’re doing a good job at being undercover is besides the point.

“I think undercover police who are actively working undercover are doing their job, rather than a diversion from something else.”

But the covert police operatives could have been doing other police work, including other surveillance assignments with greater priority than infiltrating a group of environmental activists. The security services claim to be perennially short of staff resources for the monitoring of potential terrorist threats.

@79, @80

I agree with you, because lets face it I know which work I would rather do! But a couple of points spring to mind, perhaps just to play devils advocate.

Firstly I dont know anything about undercover work, but I do know it is a long process and these agents don’t just swap around week after week. Perhaps it makes more sense to leave someone who has ’embedded’ themselves rather than wasting all the time spent building the relationships etc.

Also, its hard to prioritise who you should be spying on without actually spying on them first.

I hear the Home Affairs Committee will quiz Acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner Tim Godwin and Commander Bob Broadhurst on this topic later this afternnoon.

“Also, its hard to prioritise who you should be spying on without actually spying on them first”

C’mon. Terrorist cabals usually have agendas for planning and funding projects intended to kill scores of innocent bystanders so as to advertise their cause – as in the Madrid train bombings in 2004, the London tube and bus bombings on 7/7 in 2005 or Mumbai in 2008.

Environmental activists really don’t come into the same class. If the Metropolitan Police hierarchy can’t tell the difference then heads need to roll.

84. john P_Reid

Mark saunder was shooting at memebers of the public in hteir back gardens with his gun,why is it questionable the amount of police deployed if it save Saunders form killinjg people i’d have seen 1000 there, as for the quote the polce were sent there to shoot him, they were sent there to make sure he didn’t shoot other people ,it was a last minute tragedy that they had to shoot him, get your facts stragiht


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  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  2. Liberal Conspiracy

    Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  3. David Wearing

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  4. Tim Hardy

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  5. Tim Hardy

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  6. Broken OfBritain

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  7. Lucy Fur

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  8. Paul Trembath

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  9. Alias the Jester

    RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C < police abuse of men still acceptable

  10. Antony Crossfield

    RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  11. Caroline Russell

    sex as a "tool to blend in" utterly shocking RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  12. Caroline Russell

    sex as a "tool to blend in" utterly shocking RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  13. Caroline Russell

    sex as a "tool to blend in" utterly shocking RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  14. Derek Bryant

    RT @libcon Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  15. Bhaskar Dasgupta

    Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/e5GFT5 will men complain about sex with policewomen? #ukpolitics

  16. I’m not sure I understand this

    […] Really, I don’t. Women in the UK should not have to worry about being sexually abused by policemen. It is as simple as that. […]

  17. Edward Clarke

    RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  18. Chris Patmore

    RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  19. ARIngram

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  20. J

    RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  21. Brian Barefield

    RT @BrokenOfBritain: RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  22. Pucci Dellanno

    RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C

  23. Tim Flatman

    The amount of rape trivialisation and victim-blaming in this comments thread on a "liberal" website is horrific: http://bit.ly/gqozvy

  24. Tim Whale

    @sunny_hundal this post really is bull. Women proclaim equality, yet when a copper fucks them they claim to be abused http://bit.ly/hOA3Mq

  25. Fiat Justitia

    UK. Scotland Yard, event at 8 AM 24 Jan '11. RT @libcon: Protest tomorrow against abuse of women by police spies http://bit.ly/gHFe9C





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