Home AffairsLetter to Deborah Glass, Deputy Chair, Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), 21 January 2013

Re: Operation Herne

I represent eight women who are bringing a civil claim for damages against the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis arising from their experiences of being deceived by undercover officers who commenced long term intimate sexual relationships with them and subsequently disappeared from their lives causing them serious psychological harm in all cases. Three of those women had relationships with Mark Kennedy, who was under the control of the NPIOU, and the other five had relationships with a number of different officers who were all, we believe, part of what was known as the Special Demonstration Squad at the Metropolitan Police. Following receipt of our letters before claim, we were contacted by police officers to ask if the women would like to make statements to assist a DPS investigation into misconduct by officers in the SDS, which is now called Operation Herne. In a recent meeting with Detective Superintendent Chris Robson, who is now in charge of Operation Herne, we were informed that the IPCC are supervising the investigation and that you are Commissioner responsible for the supervision.

My clients had decided that it might be beneficial to co-operate with this investigation and some of them have met with DSU Robson and DS Kirstie Masters from the DPS. However, at a recent meeting my clients were informed that the police, having taking legal advice, are required to exercise a policy of NCND (neither confirm nor deny) in respect of the officers about whom my clients were making allegations. He also informed us that he would need to take legal advice as to whether he could share the terms of reference of the enquiry. He has since contacted me to say that he is not permitted to share the terms of reference.

The approach of the Metropolitan Police in relation to the NCND policy is deeply distressing for my clients. Imagine if you had been in a relationships with a man for five years.

Prepared 25th October 2013