Undercover police officers spy on children, and then demand privacy


Undercover Hidingsource: The Canary
published: 23 March 2016

The Undercover Policing Inquiry, chaired by Lord Justice Pitchford, resumed this week with legal arguments being made by the police which, if implemented, would essentially mean most of the inquiry being held in secret.

Central to their position is a continuation of the policy of neither confirming nor denying (NCND) whether a person was an undercover officer.

However, whilst the lawyers for the police have been arguing that revealing the identities of officers would infringe their Article 8 right to privacy and family life, The Canary can reveal that police officers have been recording details of activists’ young children.

Mae Benedict put in a Subject Access Request to find out what information the domestic extremist units held on her. She believed she might have a file as she had been arrested in the past for environmental activism. She had also been close to the only known female undercover officer, Lynn Watson. However, she was shocked to discover her file left out details of “several arrests and a conviction” but contained details of her young child:

“It made me furious that my kid is on a police file already, and mostly it was really intrusive. Instead of details of when I HAD been found guilty of a crime, the focus instead was on me as a parent, and, by default, my child as a child of mine.”

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