Met Police ‘used identities of dead children’ in covert operations

06:13 04 February 2013

File picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

File picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Undercover Metropolitan Police officers used the identities of dead children in undercover operations and issued fake passports in their names, it has been claimed.

The service also issued false passports in their names for officers infiltrating protest groups without telling the children’s parents, according to today’s Guardian.

Over the course of 30 years, generations of officers went through national birth and death records in search of suitable matches, the newspaper said.

The creation of aliases resulted in officers being issued with official documents such as driving licences and national insurance numbers.

Last night,the Met said the practice was not currently authorised.

It also announced an investigation into “past arrangements for undercover identities used by SDS (Special Demonstration Squad) officers”.

The practice was allegedly adopted to lend credibility to officers working undercover and provide them with a back story while spying.

One officer, who adopted the fake persona of Pete Black while undercover in anti-racist groups, told the Guardian he felt he was “stomping on the grave” of the four-year-old boy whose identity he used.

“A part of me was thinking about how I would feel if someone was taking the names and details of my dead son for something like this,” he said.

Another officer, who used the identity of a child car crash victim, said he was conscious the parents would “still be grief-stricken” but argued his actions could be justified because they were for the “greater good”.

Both officers worked for the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), which was apparently disbanded in 2008.

A document seen by the newspaper indicated around 80 officers used such identities between 1968 and 1994.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “A formal complaint has been received which is being investigated by the DPS (Directorate for Professional Standards) and we appreciate the concerns that have been raised.

“The DPS inquiry is taking place in conjunction with Operation Herne’s investigation into the wider issue of past arrangements for undercover identities used by SDS officers.

“We can confirm that the practice referred to in the complaint is not something that would currently be authorised in the MPS.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
[Photo Hydar Dewachi]

The mobile cinema tailors events to the communities living along the canals and rivers it visits.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
[Photo Met Police]

An independent review found officers and prosecutors need to improve the way they handle rape complaints.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
[Photograph by Tristan Newkey-Burden]

Police have launched a murder investigation after an 18-year-old was stabbed to death in Sydenham High Street yesterday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Police were called to a fight on Welham Road, Tooting [Image from Google StreetView]

Police have launched a murder investigation after a man was hit by a vehicle and died in Tooting.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Mulberry Lodge Day and Care Centre in Barkingside. Pic: Google Streetview

A carer who used WhatsApp to share extreme films of a woman having sex with a snake, a horse and a dog wept as she was spared jail today yesterday.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

Read more
The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Read more
You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more