MI5 [had] told spycops to monitor socialists and children

Undercover Spy Hackerall credits: Socialist Worker
published: 17 May 2022

The drip feed of ­information from the spycops inquiry into ­undercover policing is back with public sessions.

The Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad, which operated from 1968 to 2008, was a cop unit tasked with infiltrating protest groups. Its activities are at the heart of the long-delayed – and set to be ­long-ongoing – public inquiry.

The inquiry was set up after revelations that undercover spycops deceived women into intimate relationships and monitored grieving families. The current phase of the inquiry focuses on the years running from 1973 and 1982. It has identified at least 1,000 groups that were ­infiltrated by cops.

Notably detective inspector Angus McIntosh told the spycops inquiry that “there was a high-level policy decision” not to infiltrate groups on the far right. In contrast evidence released from a closed hearing indicates police told one of their spycops to stay away from the anti-fascist demonstration where the police killed Socialist Workers Party (SWP) member Blair Peach in 1979.

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