Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Protestors in Cardiff and around have been left shocked and bewildered to hear that a Cardiff Anarchist group was infiltrated by an undercover police officer for four years.
'Marco' was the third infiltrator to be uncovered. The first, Mark Kennedy was outed after the trial of six environmententalists collapsed.
Kennedy, selling his story to the Mail on Sunday, claims he knows of another 15 undercover police officers among protest groups. At an estimated cost to the public purse of £250,000 per undercover officer, per year, I find it very difficult to see how this expenditure can be justifed, particularly when the groups covertly investigated are hardly, by their own admission, public enemy number one.
Kennedy and Marco slept with women activists, gaining their trust in the most intimate of ways, for information. All those who trusted these men must feel betrayed and violated, but the women activists who were close to them will no doubt be feeling it the hardest. Who sanctioned such a tactic? Were the government of the time happy for this abuse of women's rights to take place? These questions deserve to be answered.
I have had concerns about the way protestors in Wales are policed for some time. These latest revelations only strengthen calls for policing to be devolved to Wales, where policy decisions like this would be able to be scutinised more closely.