Women deceived into relationships with undercover police officers have condemned the further delays that have been announced in the government’s Undercover Policing Inquiry. On 20 May, their campaign group, Police Spies Out Of Lives, said: ‘The idea that we have to wait until 2024 for the next tranche of hearings is beyond belief. Justice delayed is justice denied. We urge the inquiry to rethink this timeframe.’
In 2015, the Metropolitan police apologised to seven women and paid substantial compensation to them for ‘long-term intimate sexual relationships... which were abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong’.
The next set of hearings will look at covert operations between 1983 and 1992, the period in which several of these abusive relationships took place.
So far, no undercover police officers have been prosecuted for any behaviour uncovered by the public inquiry.
On 10 May, it was revealed that the crown prosecution service (CPS) had decided last year that there was a realistic prospect of a conviction in the case of one spycop.
The man in question took the identity of a dead baby, Rod Richardson, something which seems to have been a common practice among these spycops.
‘Rod’ got a passport under his undercover name. He was therefore guilty of making an untrue statement to obtain a passport, an offence under the Criminal Justice Act 1925.
The CPS , decided that it was ‘not in the public interest’ to prosecute ‘Rod’.
The fact that the inquiry has allowed most spycops anonymity has been a barrier to private prosecutions.