Undercover police work reviewed


The oversight of undercover police operations and the proportionality of covert tactics will be reviewed

The oversight of undercover operations and the proportionality of covert tactics will be reviewed, inspectors have said.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) launched the review following concerns about the role played by ex-Metropolitan Police Pc Mark Kennedy, who spent a reported seven years under cover posing as an environmental activist.

The review will take into account separate inquiries by the police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), and Scotland Yard, said HMIC.

Speaking about the role of undercover officer Mr Kennedy, Policing Minister Nick Herbert said: “It’s clear to us all that something operationally has gone very wrong and that is now the subject of an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation.

“I think everybody is concerned by the Kennedy case and we have an IPCC precisely to investigate this kind of thing.”

Concerns over the operational accountability of Mr Kennedy’s unit, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), were raised by MPs on the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.

Mr Herbert said there needed to be “proper accountability” for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), which is running the unit until it can be transferred to Scotland Yard.

Inspector Bernard Hogan-Howe will conduct the HMIC review, said a spokesman.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, will also write to Acpo president Sir Hugh Orde over concerns that Mr Kennedy was given a £200,000 per year expenses account while working undercover.

The Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said it had also been asked to carry out an independent review of Mr Kennedy’s deployment as an undercover officer.

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