One of the many Spycops being investigated by the Pitchford Inquiry is Mark Kennedy, whose undercover exploits not only covered England & Wales (the geographic area restricted to the Inquiry) but Scotland and parts of Europe. Below we include, for the Inquiry’s benefit, an internal German Government report on Kennedy, as well as via a number of sources his extensive ‘CV’. There is now compelling evidence that the Inquiry should examine the activities of British undercover police outside of England & Wales (Kennedy was not the only spycop who worked across Europe – see below) .
“If Kennedy’s toll is taken as an average, the officers of the Special Demonstration Squad and National Public Order Intelligence Unit have caused around 8,000 miscarriages of justice. Even if we are conservative and presume there was just one per officer per year, the total is around 600. This may well be the biggest nobbling in English legal history.” See article in The Justice Gap.
A. The German connection
German MP Andrej Hunko first raised questions in the German Bundestag concerning what the authorities knew about Kennedy’s activities amongst the Berlin protest movement. Kennedy had been arrested in Berlin for attempted arson, but was never brought to trial. Hunko asked: “How does the federal government justify the fact that [Mark Kennedy], as part of his operation in Germany, did not only initiate long-term meaningful friendships but also sexual relationships, clearly under false pretenses?”.
To see the Bundestag Report concerning secretly operating international networks of police forces – click here (note: Kennedy is referenced on pages 10 – 16).
B. Kennedy’s prolific operations
Mark Kennedy’s undercover name was Mark Stone. He spent seven years undercover, from 2003 until his exposure in October 2010. He worked with groups such as Dissent!, Rising Tide, Saving Iceland, Workers’ Solidarity Movements, Rossport Solidarity, Climate Camp, Climate Justice Action and others.
Kennedy is believed to have worked undercover in Ireland, Germany, Spain, Denmark, France, the USA, Italy, and Iceland, amongst other places. His exposure led to demands in many of those countries for official information about his activities. (See also link at end of article re Kennedy’s involvement in France with the Tarnac operation.)
In 2011, eight women who were deceived into long-term intimate relationships by five officers, including Kennedy, who had infiltrated social and environmental justice campaigns, began legal action against the Metropolitan Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). After three years the women succeeded in forcing the Met, via the courts, to admit that two of the officers, Lambert and Boyling, were undercover officers, though the police continued with their ‘neither confirm nor deny’ stance regarding two other officers, Dines and Jenner. It was agreed that the case against Kennedy would be heard by the secret Investigatory Powers Tribunal, unless the women were able to appeal that decision. The CPS also announced that it would not instigate criminal proceedings against the undercover officers who had deceived women into relationships.
In the first of possibly several settlements, the Metropolitan police last year paid more than £400,000 to a woman who discovered by chance that the father of her son was an undercover police officer. An environmental campaigner, who had an intimate relationship with Mark Kennedy, is also suing Global Open (see below).
There was other fall-out. The case against six activists accused of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass at Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station collapsed following the revelation of Kennedy’s activities as an undercover policeman. Kennedy was not just an observer, but an agent provocateur. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was forced to withdraw the case against the activists after Kennedy confessed to the set-up, evidence of which the CPS had withheld from the defence.
In June 2015 prosecutors were ordered by the courts to pay the legal bill of 29 environmental protesters who were unjustly convicted. The Crown Prosecution Service was forced to pay £43,000 after conceding that crucial evidence gathered by an undercover police officer – Kennedy – was improperly withheld from the protesters’ trial. So far, more than 50 protesters have been wrongly convicted or prosecuted because the activities of undercover police officers had been unfairly buried in the legal proceedings. That total is expected to increase.
Some of the undercover officers worked for the Special Demonstration Squad, which was set up in 1968 and shut down in October 2006 as part of a restructuring of the Met, though it still unofficially continued until October 2008. From 2003 to 2009 Kennedy additionally worked as part of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, which was set up in March 1999 to monitor green activists and public demonstrations. The unit also included the Animal Rights National Index.
C. Kennedy’s later career
In January 2010, before leaving the police, Kennedy set up a company called “Stanage Consulting” in Basingstoke and another called Tokra Ltd, which was linked to Global Open (run by former Animal Rights National Index and Special Branch cop-turned-private sector spymaster, Rod Leeming – see below). In March 2010 Kennedy set up a second company, Black Star High Access Limited. In December 2011, Kennedy also applied for work with Stratfor (he didn’t get a job). Another company Kennedy worked for, from March 2012, was the Densus Group, for whom he was a consultant. Densus is a surveillance company, specialising in spying on political activists, including those involved with Occupy.
Here is a complete chronology of Kennedy’s undercover ops.
In February 2013 Kennedy appeared before a UK Home Affairs Select Committee on undercover policing. There he gave testimony on how he had been involved in undercover duties since 1998 and later worked for NPOIU.
D. Undercover policing and blacklisting
Blacklisting of trade unionists, political protesters, etc has been going on for decades (and is still rife). The main blacklisting agency, until its demise in 1993, was the Economic League. Much of the EL’s work was taken over by the Consulting Association, led by Ian Kerr and which was closed down in 2009. Undercover police also infiltrated unions, according to testimony given earlier this year.
In 2014 a Select Committee investigation found that representatives from the undercover police unit known as the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) attended and gave presentations to meetings of the Consulting Association, the blacklisting organisation. In 2013 the head of the covert blacklisting organisation, which was financed and controlled by major construction companies, was prosecuted for holding illegal files on construction workers. In 2008, according to a Guardian article, Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Mills, then of NETCU, allegedy met with the Consultancy Association to facilitate exchange of information. Today, while NETCU is no more, several of its officers have moved on to ‘risk control’ – particularly for the pharmaceutical companies, such as Novartis and Glaxo-Smith-Kline.
Superintendent Stephen Pearl, who was the head of NETCU, is now a non-executive director of Agenda Resource Management, which carries out vetting of applicants for jobs in animal laboratories. Agenda Security Services (ASS) boast its staff includes “teams of ex-police, ex-military, desktop researchers and security analysts” ASS also states that it works with Government Institutions, global corporations and small to medium sized businesses. One of its main services is employee screening. ASS “combine high tech and secure systems with well trained and customer focused researchers and analysts…” Ironically this program is named as ISIS: Information Security Investigation System. Checks include identity, address, internet mining search (i.e. check individual via search engines), employment history, gaps in employment and credit references. ASS explains that it intelligence can be gathered on “threats to the organisation, animal rights, extremists, competitors and counterfeiters to name but a few.” ASS uses an interactive software system called Guardian, which it uses to to check over a billion web pages on behalf of clients.
Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell, who was the senior police officer in charge of the UK police domestic extremism machinery between 2004 and 2010, is now head of global security at Laing O’Rourke – one of the construction companies that subscribed to the Consulting Association.
Rod Leeming (see below) was the head of Special Branch’s Animal Rights National Index (which kept tabs on animal rights activists) and went on to found Global Open, which advises pharmaceutical companies (and which also hired Mark Kennedy).
Earlier this year, former undercover police officer Peter Francis revealed how as a member of the SDS he and other undercover officers spied on trade unionists for over 40 years.
E. Other named spycops investigated
There were probanly hundreds of spycops, not just spying on political protesters, but trade unionists. Kennedy is only one of several undercover cops who are being investigated by the Pitchford Inquiry: others named (courtesy of Statewatch) include:
1. Bob Robinson (Robert/Bob Lambert)
Infiltrated London Greenpeace and the Animal Liberation Front from 1984-88. Had a child with one of his “targets”. Has been accused in parliament by Caroline Lucas MP of participating in an arson attack on a department store. Later promoted to Head of Operations in the Special Demonstration Squad. Went on to run Special Branch’s Muslim Contact Unit. Awarded MBE for services to policing. Currently works as an academic at St Andrews University.
2. Jim Sutton (Andrew James Boyling)
Infiltrated Reclaim the Streets from 1995-2000. Formed a relationship with a “target”, disappeared, and resurfaced a year later admitting to the woman that he was a police officer. They married and had two children but divorced in 2009.
3. John Barker (John Dines)
Infiltrated a number of groups including London Greenpeace and squatting groups between 1987 and 1992. Had a five-year relationship with one of his “targets”.
4. Lynn Watson
Based in Leeds, from 2003-08 she infiltrated numerous environmental, anti-capitalist and peace groups: Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp, UK Action Medics Collective, Drax Climate Camp, Dissent! and others.
5. Mark Cassidy (Mark Jenner)
Infiltrated the Colin Roach Centre, the Building Workers Group, Hackney Community Defence Association and, allegedly, Anti-Fascist Action and Red Action between 1995 and 2000. Had a four-year relationship with a woman now known publicly as ‘Alison’. Bob Lambert was his boss.
6. Simon Wellings
Was exposed after five years with the group Globalise Resistance (2001-05) when he accidentally phoned an activist friend whilst discussing photos of and information on the group with officers at a police station.
7. Peter Daley/Pete Black (Peter Francis)
Infiltrated anti-racist and anti-road campaigns between 1993 and 1997 and slept with two activists during that time. He was in Special Branch before joining the Special Demonstration Squad where he used the identity of a four-year old who had died of leukaemia as his cover. His real name is unknown but he went to the press with stories of his time as an undercover officer in March 2010, before the exposure of Mark Kennedy in October.
8. Rod Richardson
Infiltrated anti-capitalist and hunt saboteur groups, in particular working with groups protesting against political summits such as the G20. Went abroad to Sweden, France and Italy at various times.
9. Mark/Marco Jacobs
Operated from 2004 to 2009, infiltrated anarchist, anti-militarist and migration campaigns. Travelled abroad to Germany and France (on a number of occasions with Mark Kennedy).
E. See also:
Further background on the case brought by eight women against undercover cops:
> The Case > Our Stories – the eight claimants
> The Case > The Officers – the specific deployments which this case concerns
> The Case > The Command Structures – the subjects of the legal action
> The Case > Legal Battles – an introduction to legal battles and legal procedures around the case