Scotland Yard spied on critics of police corruption

Scotland Yard deployed undercover officers in political groups that sought to uncover corruption in the Metropolitan police and campaigned for justice for people who had died in custody, the Guardian can reveal.

At least three officers from the controversial Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) spied on London-based activist groups.

Mark Jenner, an undercover officer, used the identity Mark Cassidy in the 1990s to penetrate the Colin Roach Centre, which was named after a 21-year-old black British man who died in the foyer of Stoke Newington police station in north-east London. The campaigners worked with people who said they had been mistreated, wrongfully arrested or assaulted by police in the local borough — Hackney — which was at the time mired in a serious corruption scandal.

Jenner, who was married with children, had a five-year relationship with a woman he was spying on before his deployment ended in 2000.

A second SDS spy was used to gather intelligence on another group that represented the victims of police harassment and racist attacks in a neighbouring part of east London. The second spy, whose identity is not known, did not infiltrate the Newham Monitoring Project directly, but got inside associated groups and was able to monitor its activities.

The revelation comes a day after the Guardian revealed that Peter Francis, a former Met officer turned whistleblower, was asked to dig for dirt on the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence. The revelation provoked anger across the political spectrum, led by the prime minister — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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