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.”

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