Scottish Government under pressure to order undercover policing probe

Written by Andrew Whitaker on 29 July 2016 in News

The Scottish Government has faced calls to use its powers to call an inquiry into undercover policing north of the Border after UK ministers ruled out such a probe

credit - parliament TV

The Scottish Government is under pressure to set up its own inquiry into the alleged activities of undercover police who targeted campaigners after UK ministers refused to extend an existing probe on the issue north of the Border.

Calls to expand the Pitchford Inquiry to Scotland were backed by representatives of all parties.

However, the UK’s policing minister Brandon Lewis said this was "not possible".


RELATED CONTENT 

Minister refuses to commit to Scottish Government probe on undercover policing

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


Scottish Labour now wants Holyrood to conduct its own probe into the conduct of undercover police officers.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay had issued a series of pleas to the then Home Secretary Theresa May, asking for the inquiry to be expanded to Scotland.

He won backing from MSPs, MPs and MEPs from Labour, the Greens, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.

However, in a letter to Findlay, Lewis, the minister for policing and the fire service said there was a risk that the inquiry could be "acting outside of its powers" as defined in its terms of reference.

He said May, now the Prime Minister, had "carefully considered" the request, but said the probe was already "extensive and complex", adding: "In the interests of learning lessons from past failures and improving public confidence, it is important that the inquiry can proceed swiftly and make recommendations as soon as possible."

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said it was "extremely disappointed" that Pitchford would not be extended, and is now considering the next steps.

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”.

Tags

Tags

Related Articles

Cross-party call for "radical action" on drug deaths
17 July 2019

The MSPs are calling on the UK and Scottish governments to "examine all options", including decriminalisation

Death from drugs reaches highest ever level
16 July 2019

The number of people dying from drug related deaths in Scotland has reached a record high

Lord Advocate "simply cannot" approve safe injecting rooms without drug law reform
9 July 2019

The Lord Advocate told the Scottish Affairs Committee that a change in drugs law would have to occur before safe consumption rooms could be allowed.

Humza Yousaf welcomes Police Scotland Brexit contingency plans
5 July 2019

The Justice Minister has welcomed the decision to put around 300 police officers on standby to deal with any Brexit-related issues on 31 October

Share this page