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Named: Scots police chiefs linked to disgraced ‘Spycops’ unit

The identities of senior police officers in Scotland linked to a secret Metropolitan Police division under investigation are revealed today by The Ferret, prompting renewed calls for the Pitchford Inquiry to be extended to Scotland.

A Police Scotland response to questions submitted under Freedom of Information legislation reveals the names of high ranking Scottish police officers who attended meetings of the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee, aka ACPO TAM.

ACPO TAM is responsible for counter terrorism and oversaw the UK’s national domestic extremism units whose activities are being investigated by Lord Justice Pitchford.

The committee’s remit covered undercover officers with the Metropolitan Police who infiltrated campaigning groups and spied on animal rights activists and environmentalists, among others deemed domestic extremists.

The Ferret – publishing this information today in tandem with the Daily Record – also obtained details of Police Scotland’s command structure for the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005 when the undercover Met Police officer Mark Kennedy was operating in Scotland with colleagues.

Kennedy was one of several undercover police officers who entered into relationships with women during covert operations.

Another called Bob Lambert fathered a child with a woman he was spying on and the actions of officers with the disgraced Met Police unit led to the Pitchford Inquiry being set up.

The public inquiry will investigate the policing of domestic extremism and also alleged miscarriages of justice linked to police spies in England and Wales.

However, revelations that undercover Met Police officers – including Kennedy – also worked north of the border led to calls for Pitchford to cover Scotland too.

Senior officers in Scotland who met with ACPO TAM included Sir Willie Rae, former Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, and Paddy Tomkins, former Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police.

Sir Stephen House – who stepped down as Chief Constable of Scotland last year – also attended ACPO TAM meetings.

Former Assistant Chief Constables Colin McCashey and Ronnie Liddle – both now retired – were also listed in the Police Scotland FOI reply.

DCC Iain Livingstone still serves with Police Scotland and was also named as having attended ACPO TAM meetings.

Senior officers were members of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) which ceased to operate on 1st April 2o13 when Police Scotland was established.

The Police Scotland FOI reply also said that DCC Livingstone, along with Sir Stephen House, ACC Ruaraidh Nicolson and new Chief Constable of Scotland, Phil Gormley, have all attended ACPO TAM meetings since the formation of Police Scotland.

It emerged last weekend that Chief Constable Gormley is expected to give evidence during the Pitchford Inquiry.

In 2006, his role at the Met Police included oversight of both the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU).

Both of these now defunct units investigated domestic extremism and will be scrutinised during the Pitchford Inquiry.

Mr Gormley was head of Special Branch when the SDS was running Carlo Neri, an undercover officer who had relationships with two women who are now taking legal action against the Met.

Campaigners calling for the Pitchford Inquiry to be extended to Scotland said senior officers should have known that Met Police spies were operating in Scotland and should be questioned.

Senior officers leading the policing of the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005, when the SDS was in Scotland, included ACC Ian Dickinson who was closely involved in counter terrorism.

Paddy Tomkins was also involved in policing the G8 Summit. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Police Service.

Donal O’Driscoll, of Undercover Research Group, has been researching and exposing police spies while calling for Pitchford to cover Scotland.

He said: “This information shows that through ACPOS, Scottish police officers played a role overseeing undercover police officers such as Mark Kennedy and cannot deny knowing about their activities, including in Scotland.”

“We know that many of the spycops were active in Scotland or holidayed there with the women they targeted for relationships. For those most affected by these injustices it is vital for the full story of the abuse to come out, and for this reason alone the Pitchford Inquiry must be extended to Scotland.”

Labour MSP Neil Findlay has also campaigned for the public inquiry to cover Scotland. He said: “Evidence of Scottish involvement in the undercover policing scandal grows by the day.”

“We now must have all of this brought out in the open with a full public inquiry in Scotland. We cannot have people in England and Wales having access to justice but people in Scotland denied.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We do not routinely comment on covert policing operations.”

“It is a matter for the public inquiry into undercover policing who is called to provide evidence and that request will be considered if received by Police Scotland.”

The Scottish Government has said it would explore the possibility of extending Pitchford to Scotland with the Home Secretary, Theresa May.

When asked what progress had been made a spokesperson for the Scottish Government, said: “Discussions concerning extending the Pitchford Inquiry to cover the activities of the Metropolitan Units in Scotland are ongoing.”

In January, The Ferret revealed that Ronnie Liddle – Scotland’s former counter-terrorism chief– was seconded to a controversial undercover Met Police unit now under investigation.

Mr Liddle was head of CID at Lothian and Borders Police before being appointed to lead counter-terrorism in Scotland in May 2012.

But he was seconded to the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit (CTIU), responsible for undercover police, seven months later.

Part of his remit was overseeing domestic extremism, including officers spying on protest groups in Britain​.

Mr Liddle’s secondment to the Met Police was detailed in the minutes of a Lothian and Borders Police Board meeting in 2013.

It says Liddle was: “Temporarily promoted to Assistant Chief Constable from 23/4/12 upon secondment to CTIU for the period 23/4/12 to 15/12/12.”

Part of his remit at CTIU included responsibility for national domestic extremism.

Last month, more than 100 people signed a letter demanding that the Met Police revealed the fake names used by police spies ahead of the inquiry beginning.

The 133 signatories also called for a list of protest groups infiltrated by undercover officers to be made public.

The people who signed the letter will each play a key role in the Pitchford Inquiry.

People who signed the letter include Harry Halpin who told the Sunday Mail that an undercover officer called Mark Kennedy duped him into allowing access to his personal computer.

At the time, Haplin was a climate change activist studying for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh.

Another signatory was​ ​Jason Kirkpatrick​, an activist who befriended ​Kennedy and suspects the officer interfered with his media work during the 2005 global summit at Gleneagles.​

Kate Wilson also signed the letter. She successful sued the Met after being duped into a relationship with Kennedy who was in Scotland working undercover on 14 occasions.​

The letter was published on a website called Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (Cops).

It begins: “Dear Lord Justice Pitchford, As 133 of the inquiry’s core participants, we write to share our collective view that a fundamental requirement for the inquiry’s success is to instruct police to disclose, as soon as possible, a list of names of all the organisations about whom intelligence was gathered; the cover names (not the real identities) of the individual officers responsible for infiltrating and reporting on activists and campaigns; and the individual Special Branch reports for each core participant group or individual.

“Core Participants and other current and potential witnesses are likely to struggle to provide testimony as long as there remains inadequate or non-existent information available to them.”

“We are deeply concerned that a unique and historic opportunity may be lost unless the inquiry is able to provide the vital details we seek.”

The letter criticises the Met Police for failing to reveal the names used by undercover officers, accusing the force of obstructing the inquiry to serve its own interests.

It says: “We appreciate that the police will use every possible argument against providing greater openness and transparency, although there is no evidence that the public exposure of any undercover officer to date has either placed them at personal risk or posed any threat to national security.”

“In our view, the police’s ‘neither confirm nor deny’ policy is less about protecting individuals and far more about blocking exposure of misdeeds.”

The Met Police has refused to release the names of undercover officers as they have a policy of protecting covert tactics and the safety of officers and their families.

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