iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Undercover Cops

Listen now 38 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Undercover Cops

Duration:
38 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 02 October 2012

How far should undercover police officers go to gather intelligence?

Jane Deith talks exclusively to women suing the Metropolitan police claiming they were tricked into long standing relationships with undercover officers.

The unmasking of undercover cop Mark Kennedy who'd been infiltrating environmental protest groups has led to revelations that other officers had relationships with woman they were spying on. The women argue that the state agents they fell in love with used them physically and emotionally. They say the officers intruded into the most personal aspects of their lives causing them lasting damage. Their lawyer claims the relationships were a breach of the women's right to privacy and their right to form relationships without the interference of the state.

Yet there are no hard guidelines on undercover officers sleeping with 'targets'. The rules of engagement are shrouded in secrecy. Police chiefs have said the officers broke the rules, yet former undercover policemen say sex was sanctioned as a means of gathering intelligence. And the Government has told Parliament affairs like this can be a necessary part of undercover work.

So is forming intimate relationships a legitimate part of a difficult and vital area of policing, or an abuse of power by the state?

And, from environmental protest to serious and organised crime, how much do we really know about the secret methods of undercover policing?

Presenter: Jane Deith
Producer: Sally Chesworth.

  • Witness Protection

    Are the police doing enough to protect and look after people under witness protection?

  • Police Restraint

    Angus Stickler investigates deaths in police custody.

  • Bent Cops

    Are police doing enough to tackle corruption in their ranks? Allan Urry investigates.

  • Cyber Spies

    Cyber Spies: computer hacking and the state.

  • READ THE PROGRAMME TRANSCRIPT

    READ THE PROGRAMME TRANSCRIPT

    How far is too far in intelligence gathering? Jane Deith meets women suing the Metropolitan Police claiming they were duped into relationships with undercover officers.

    Read the Transcript

Broadcasts

Food Fraud

Image for Food Fraud

After last year's horsemeat scandal, have enough lessons been learned?

Free download

  1. Image for File on 4

    File on 4

    A podcast offering Radio 4's award winning, flagship investigative series File on 4.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.