'Police spies took sexual partners to Scotland'

Mark Kennedy in his undercover days outside Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station. Picture: Dan Phillips
Mark Kennedy in his undercover days outside Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station. Picture: Dan Phillips
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Undercover police officers attached to English units made repeated visits to Scotland with women they had duped into sexual relationships, according to research.

A report published by the Scottish Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (SCOPS) said a number of controversial undercover operatives travelled north of the border for activities including spying on the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and infiltrating activists ahead of the 2005 G8 summit at Gleneagles.

Last year the Court of Session dismissed calls for an inquiry into the activities of undercover police officers operating in Scotland.

It followed the publication of a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) which found the Metropolitan Police’s controversial Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) had both deployed officers to Scotland.

The Met made an “unreserved apology” in 2015 to a number of women tricked into relationships with undercover officers.

Written by academic Dr Eveline Lubbers, the SCOPS report said SDS officers John Dines, Mark Jenner and “Carlo Neri” all travelled to Scotland with women they had “targeted for long-term relationships”. Neri is said to have spied on the SSP while visiting Glasgow. Another officer, Mark Kennedy, is said to have been accompanied to Scotland by women on multiple occasions.

The report also claims undercover operatives targeted the Faslane peace camp and may have spied on former MP Robin Cook as part an operation against the Socialist Workers Party in the late 1970s.

“Andrea”, who had a long-term relationship with Neri, said: “As a victim of political policing in Scotland, I seek the truth as to why I was spied upon and why my life and the lives of my family were so cruelly disrupted. I want to know who was responsible for (Neri’s) activities in Scotland and which of his handlers secretly travelled with us when we crossed the border.

Sexual relationships were known about and signed off by unit managers. Deceiving women into long term sexual relationships was part of the job.”

Despite previously asking then Home Secretary Theresa May to include Scotland in a judge-led inquiry into undercover policing in England and Wales, the Scottish Government has ruled out holding an inquiry of its own.
Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “It is completely unacceptable that the only people on the mainland UK who do not have the ability to give evidence at such an inquiry are Scottish victims. This is unjust and wrong – we need a Scottish inquiry now.”