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Police Spies out of Lives

On 3 October, in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), the police failed to close down Kate Wilson’s human rights claim about secret political policing.

Kate Wilson is a social and environmental justice campaigner who had a two-year intimate sexual relationship with undercover police officer Mark Kennedy.

The IPT panel ordered the police to provide a fully-pleaded defence, supported by witness evidence, within three months.

These rulings were a response to statements provided by Kate Wilson and her legal team following sight of a 200-page sample of the 10,000 pages of police documents containing her name. Revelations include the following:

1) Ms Wilson was a named target of the undercover operation.

2) Mr Kennedy did not feel the need to hide the nature of their relationship, suggesting it was approved. He recorded in incredible detail their life together, such as shared theatre trips, and a week long holiday in the Lake District.

3) The recorded surveillance of Ms Wilson’s life was hugely disproportionate and intrusive – from recording details of her and Mark attending a charity carol singing concert organised by her mother, to details of her mother’s bad back.

4) Mr Kennedy’s managers took active steps, spending public money, to increase the emotional bond, for example gifting Ms Wilson a bike in order to ‘facilitate ease of travel around and also maintain contact’.

5) The police were directly manipulating Ms Wilson’s political activity and breaching her human rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression in ways that go far beyond Mark’s sexual conduct. These include authorising Mr Kennedy to lend her money to attend political events in order to ‘raise UCO’s standing with her and allow her to socialise during visit thereby affording UCO more opportunities to develop new contacts’. (A ‘UCO’ is an undercover police officer.)

Topics: Police