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Articles from the Peace News log: Police

Articles from the Peace News log.
For articles in this category from the whole site, look here

Peace News publishes the first full-face photographs of police officer Andy Coles while he was undercover as 'Andy Davey' in the early 1990s. Coles was exposed as a police infiltrator on 12 May 2017 and forced to resign as deputy police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire on 15 May

Undercover police officer Andy Coles marches in Fairford, March 1991

Today, Peace News is publishing the first full-face photographs of 'Andy Davey', the identity taken by undercover police officer Andy Coles in 1991 when he infiltrated the nonviolent direct action group ARROW. 

Coles was publicly exposed as a police infiltrator on 12 May, after investigation by the Undercover Research Group. On the same day, details emerged of an abusive sexual relationship that Coles had had with a 19-year-old animal rights activist, 'Jessica', in 1992, while he was undercover. Coles concealed his age (he was 32, but pretended to be 24) and the fact that he was married, as well as his role as an undercover police officer. As a result of these revelations, Coles was forced to resign as deputy police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire on 15 May.

Undercover police officer Andy Coles ('Andy Davey'), 16 March 1991

Jessica told Police Spies Out Of Lives: 'This has been one of the most stressful times I have ever known: my life as I knew it was a lie. One of the people that I trusted most never existed.  I can’t look back at those times in the same way now. I can’t trust my judgement, because I got things so wrong. I am now beginning to look at people I know differently. I can’t even feel that I’m being paranoid, because it’s justified.'

It's clear from the work of the Undercover Research Group that Coles focused his attention on the animal rights movement over the years 1991-1995. 

What is only being revealed today is that, early in his tour of duty if not at the very beginning of his work, 'Andy Davey' infiltrated the peace movement.

These photographs document the participation of 'Andy Davey' also known as 'Andy Van' or 'Andy the Van' in an anti-war protest on 16 March 1991 at the US air force base at Fairford, Gloucestershire. The protest was organised by a nonviolent direct action group called 'Gulf War Resisters' - it changed its name a week after the demo to ARROW ('Active Resistance to the Roots Of War').

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After four years of legal struggle, the Metropolitan police finally concede that undercover relationships were an abuse of power and violated women's human rights

ImageStatement by the eight women:

In the apology issued today by assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt, the Metropolitan Police finally conceded that 'officers, acting undercover whilst seeking to infiltrate protest groups, entered into long-term intimate sexual relationships with women which were abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong' and that 'these relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma'

AC Hewitt issued this public apology on behalf of the Metropolitan Police as part of the settlement of seven out of our eight claims arising from intimate relationships we were decieved into by undercover police officers Bob Lambert, John Dines, Mark Jenner, Jim Boyling (all Special Demonstration Squad officers) and Mark Kennedy (of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit), all of whom infiltrated environmental and social justice campaigns.

The apology is the result of our four-year legal battle to bring to public attention these state sponsored, deceptive relationships and to prevent future abuses. We have worked together on this painful and deeply personal legal case in order to expose the serious and systemic abuse of power by undercover police officers and their managers. Although no amount of 'sorry', or financial compensation, can make up for what we and others have endured, we are pleased the police have been forced to acknowledge the abusive nature of these relationships and that they should never happen.

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As Theresa May announced a public campaign into the scandals around undercover policing, campaigners against police racism and corruption, The Monitoring Group, have launched a petition to stop the gagging of undercover whistleblower Peter Francis.

ImagePeter Francis, who infiltrated anti-racism and trade union groups in the 1990s, has been at the forefront of exposing a secretive undercover unit, that targeted campaigns since 1968. It is now known that hundreds of officers from the Special Demonstration Squad were deployed across the political spectrum, many using the identities of dead children, and not a few having relationships with those they were targeting.

One officer in particular, Bob Lambert, using the stolen identity of Bob Robinson, fathered a child and was named in Parliament by Caroline Lucas as having planted an incendiary device at the Harrow branch of Debenhams in the 1980s. He, however, was not alone in either fathering children or acting as an agent provocateur. Other officers are known to have spied on family justice campaigns including the family of Stephen Lawrence.

On Thursday 12th March, there was the launch of Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlains' book Blacklisted, a powerful account of police and corporate collaboration to destroy the working lives of trade union activists. There, MP John McDonnell read out a statement from Francis, where he specifically mentioning how he played a role on spying on trade union activists in North London.

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Following a brutal arrest and an IPCC complaint being upheld, Mani Hamid is seeking a movement to support victims of miscarriages of justice.

ImageThe Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have upheld Mani Hamid's complaint – “the police had wrongfully arrested him, assaulted him and violated his human right to protest.” (please see back history below (1)). He is currently pursuing prosecution of the police for misconduct and solicitors for negligence. Mani is teaching himself about Human Rights law and is determined to take these cases up to the International Human Rights courts.

Any Peace News reader with any knowledge of human rights law, solicitors' negligence or police misconduct please contact Mani on the email provided at the end of this article.

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