MSP calls for probe into undercover police activities to be extended to Scotland

Written by Andrew Whitaker on 23 May 2016 in News

Labour MSP Neil Findlay calls on other politicians to back inquiry into undercover police activities in Scotland 

A Labour MSP has called on Scottish politicians to back the extension of an inquiry into the undercover activities of police officers to Scotland.

The Pitchford Inquiry was set up to look into police infiltration of political of political and social justice campaign groups in England and Wales.

However, Labour MSP Neil Findlay has written to all Scottish MPs, MSPs and MEPs, urging then to add their voice to calls for the probe to be extended to Scotland.


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MSPs challenge police spying ethics

Findlay said that if the UK Government does not agree to such a move that Scotland should hold its own inquiry into the alleged activities of undercover police who targeted campaigners. 

The Pitchford inquiry was set up in July last year after a series of revelations about officers spying on left-wing, environmental and animal rights activists.

Several undercover officers had sexual relationships with the women they were spying on and one even fathered a child while concealing his true identity.

The Metropolitan Police in November made an “unreserved apology” and agreed to compensate women who were deceived into having relationships by officers - behaviour the force now admits was “unacceptable” and “a violation of the women’s human rights”.

However, the inquiry remit does not currently cover Scotland and has been formally set out "to inquire into and report on undercover police operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces in England and Wales since 1968".

Findlay, in his letter to Scottish politicians, said that there is a “growing body of evidence” that undercover officers were involved in what he said were “discredited practices” whilst operating in Scotland.

He said: “Given all of this I am urging you to support my call for the remit of the Pitchford inquiry to be extended to include Scotland, however if this is refused then for the Scottish Government to establish its own inquiry.

“It would completely unjust to have a situation where English and Welsh victims have access to an inquiry but Scottish citizens don’t.”




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