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Spycops victims condemn Undercover Policing Inquiry for hearing evidence in secret

SPYCOPS’ victims condemned the Undercover Policing Inquiry today for hearing evidence in secret and called for a review of anonymity orders granted to former undercover officers.

The victims accused the inquiry of misreading the public mood after it announced last week that it had heard evidence from five former undercover officers in secret.

The inquiry was set up following the revelation that a unit of Metropolitan Police officers secretly infiltrated and targeted over 1,000 organisations and campaigners for more than 40 years.

The spycops committed many acts of abuse, including tricking women into sexual relationships.

The five officers, who served in the 1970s and ’80s and are known to the inquiry only as HN21, HN41, HN109, HN302 and HN341, gave evidence to the inquiry chairman Sir John Mitting while all of the victims and their lawyers were excluded.

Campaigners say that the secret nature of the meetings prevented members of the public from knowing whether they were targeted.

Lois Austin, one of the core participants, said: “These officers were given anonymity years ago. Given all we have learnt about the process and abuses, that anonymity needs to be reviewed immediately.

“These officers were involved in a unit that abused people and democracy, running unchecked for 40 years.

“The idea that any of them are at any kind of risk is simply ridiculous and we do not buy the police line.

“As far as we are concerned, this is all about the police trying to protect senior officers.

“By contrast, when evidence is given live, we get remarkable insight into the institutional sexism and racism of these state-sanctioned units.”

Jane, whose real name has been changed to protect her privacy, was one of the women deceived into a relationship with an undercover officer.

She said: “The inquiry, in the light of this far-reaching and extremely critical judgement of undercover policing, has to stop this approach of secrecy and protecting the police.

“The broad, sweeping tactic of sending in undercover officers into the lives of people participating in left-wing politics has been shown to be wrong in the [Investigatory Powers Tribunal].

“The whole sorry debacle of political undercover policing has to be exposed and the citizens, who have had their right to participate in politics violated, deserve to have the whole truth of what has happened to them.”

A spokesperson for the inquiry said that it “does not have a comment on the statement at this time but continues with its aim to be as transparent as possible in its approach.”

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