Review of undercover policing outlines its scope

Written by Tom Freeman on 11 January 2017 in News

Police Scotland's procedures and safeguards around covert policing will be examined by review

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The review of undercover policing in Scotland will focus on the extent and scale of undercover operations since 2000, it has been announced.

The scope of the inquiry, revealed today, will also include examining what operations, procedures and safeguards are in place by Police Scotland in relation to undercover policing.

The review was established following calls for Scotland to included in The Pitchford Inquiry, which was set up to look into police infiltration of political of political and social justice campaign groups in England and Wales.


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The Scottish review will cover the period since the introduction of both Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000 and the UK Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and be led by HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland Derek Penman.

"Our report will provide assurance on whether undercover police operations are operating effectively and efficiently within Scotland, as well as assessing the contribution they make to public safety," he said.

"In terms of safeguards, we will balance the requirement for visibility and transparency of undercover policing in Scotland with the need to protect sensitive covert policing techniques and operational deployments."

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 Scottish review hopes to give its final report in September.

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