An undercover police officer became the national organiser of the political group that he had been sent to infiltrate, drawing accusations that he unjustifiably meddled in the running of a democratic organisation, a public inquiry has heard.
官员, using the fake name of Rick Gibson, took the senior role in the Troops Out Movement (TOM) during his two-year deployment during which he deceived women into sexual relationships.
在星期三, Richard Chessum, a supporter of the group, criticised the police for infiltrating “an open, independent, democratic organisation … which was engaged in lawful political activity”.
The case of Gibson highlights accusations that for years, undercover police officers wrongly influenced the direction of legal political groups by, 例如, taking leading positions within them and voting on internal decisions. This practice has led to allegations that they used these positions of trust to derail legitimate groups.
这 judge-led inquiry is examining how around 139 undercover officers spied on 多于 1,000 political groups during long-term deployments for more than four decades from 1968. The inquiry, headed by Sir John Mitting, is currently concentrating on their activities in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Chessum recounted how Gibson, whom he described as a “willing and enthusiastic” supporter of the group, rose rapidly to senior positions within the TOM, which campaigned for the British military to withdraw from Ireland. Gibson started in 1974 by helping to set up a branch of the TOM in south-east London, 他说.
One of the women deceived by Gibson into a sexual relationship, known only as Mary, has told the inquiry that Gibson used “sex … as a way of ingratiating his way into the group as a whole” and helping to consolidate his backstory.
Gibson is one of a significant number of undercover officers who had sexual relationships with women without telling them their true identities. Mary said: “The use of sex as a strategy is appalling, and the fact that it carried on throughout the decades is wrong on many levels.”
As he rose through the ranks of the TOM taking on a series of positions, Gibson submitted reports of his infiltration to his managers at Scotland Yard. These showed that he was very involved in the running of the TOM, helping, 例如, to organise rallies and influencing the appointment of its members to positions within the organisation.
Chessum said there was no way of knowing the extent to which Gibson, whose real name is Richard Clark, sabotaged the organisation.
He said that by becoming in effect its national organiser, Gibson gained access to the private list of the names and addresses of TOM members and all its internal discussions.
他加了: “It concerns me that a democratic campaigning organisation would be spied upon and be subjected to political policing. This was an organisation seeking to raise the legitimate concerns of British troops being in the north of Ireland and the subsequent problems their presence was causing there.”
Gibson’s deployment ended in 1976 后 leftwing activists started to investigate his background after suspecting that he was an infiltrator. Gibson later retired after 31 years in the police when he held the rank of detective inspector. ”His conduct was certified as exemplary,” according to an internal Scotland Yard record. He has since died.
The inquiry continues.