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November 21, 2015

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UK apology for undercover police sex

BRITISH police yesterday issued an “unreserved apology” to seven women deceived into sexual relationships with officers on undercover assignments, one of which led to the birth of a child.

Metropolitan Police accepted the women were tricked into “abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong” relationships and said that settlements had been reached.

“I acknowledge that these relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma,” said assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt.

“I unreservedly apologize on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service. I am aware that money alone cannot compensate the loss of time, their hurt or the feelings of abuse caused by these relationships.”

The officers were working for two units — now disbanded — that infiltrated groups promoting radical political action on issues such as environmental campaigns, anarchy and animal rights.

Hewitt said that such relationships “should never have happened”, calling them “a gross violation of personal dignity and integrity”.

He warned that any future officer who had a sexual relationship under similar circumstances faced prosecution.

The women accused the force of “institutional sexism”.

“Although no amount of ‘sorry’, or financial compensation, can make up for what we and others have endured, we are pleased the police have been forced to acknowledge the abusive nature of these relationships and that they should never happen,” they said in a statement.

“By linking our cases together we have been able to evidence a clear pattern of abusive, discriminatory behavior towards women which amounts to institutional sexism by the Metropolitan Police.”

Five former undercover officers were found to have had relationships while undercover, one of which led to the birth of a child.

That case was settled separately last year for more than 400,000 pounds (US$610,000).

Known only as “Jacqui”, the woman said she had received psychiatric treatment since discovering the true identity of her child’s father in a newspaper in 2012.



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