Paul Lewis and Rob Evans
October 21, 2011
It was shortly after 10am, in a corner at a primary school near Nottingham, that a police agent using the codename UCO 133 began whispering into a microphone hidden in his watch.
Mark Kennedy was a long-haired, tattoo-covered undercover police officer who had been living for six years as an environmental activist. But the covert agent with a long-term activist girlfriend was about to set in train a chain of events that would result in one of the most intriguing scandals in policing history.
“I’m an authorised police officer engaged in Operation Pegasus,” Kennedy hissed into his £7,000 Casio G-Shock watch, equipped with a hidden microchip. “This weekend, Easter weekend, I am together with a group of activists that are planning to disrupt Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. Shortly gonna go … and record briefings that subsequently take place throughout the day. So I shall now switch this device off.”
He snatched a look at his wrist and read out the time. At that point – 10.06am on 12 April 2009 – one of the British constabulary’s most closely guarded secrets remained intact; Kennedy, perhaps the most successful in a fleet of agents sent to live deep undercover among political activists, had maintained his cover.