The U.K.’s Metropolitan Police Service is the subject of a report describing a secret organization within Greater London’s police force that spied on activists and families who campaigned against miscarriages of justice, often following deaths in police custody.
The report was written by Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon, who is tasked with investigating The Met.
The Special Demonstration Squad (later renamed Special Duties Squad) was formed in 1968 and disbanded in 2008. It had one main task, the report says: To secretly infiltrate political or “justice campaign” groups it suspected might pose a threat to public order, and spy on them. “Justice campaigns” included family and supporters of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot dead by Met officers at a London Underground station in 2005 after they mistakenly believed he was a suicide bomber. He was actually an electrician who was on his way to fix a broken fire alarm.
[…] The report also contains this org chart (below), showing how the group operated, and who was in charge. The SDS’s tasks were divided between officers infiltrating “extreme left wing/extreme right wing” groups and “animal rights/environmental extremism” groups. Importantly, they reported up to Special Branch, which interposed a layer of management between SDS and The Met itself:
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