Today, the Scottish Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (SCOPS) issued the report – Undercover Political Policing in Scotland
What the report clearly shows is that undercover political policing had been going on in Scotland for decades. As a result industrial disputes were monitored and reported on by the police. Construction workers were spied upon by the police and then names passed on to the Consulting Association to ensure those workers were blacklisted.
Environmental campaigners, anti-nuclear protesters, socialists and trade unionists were not only monitored but undercover police infiltrated those campaigns. In some cases livelihoods were ruined and campaigns destroyed. This should not happen is a democratic society – the right to protest is enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.
There is an ongoing public inquiry into undercover political policing in England and Wales. Yet, the right to truth and justice stops at the border. We say that this should not be allowed to continue. We believe that justice demands that a similar public inquiry should be established in Scotland and we call on Humza Yousaf MSP – the Scottish Justice Minister – to establish this right for people in Scotland.
Following the clear information of undercover political policing contained in the news report in the Sunday Post, and the report publish by SCOPS we urge you to send this protest letter to the Justice Minister demanding that he announces a public inquiry into undercover political policing in Scotland.
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TO: Humza Yousaf MSP
Scottish Justice Minister
Dear Mr. Yousaf
Re: For an Independent public inquiry into political undercover policing in Scotland.
I am writing to you regarding undercover political policing in Scotland and the need for an independent public inquiry north of the border.
On the 12th May 2019 the Sunday Post featured a report – Political Undercover Policing in Scotland – showing the extent and scope of undercover political policing in Scotland. The report was based on independent research carried out by Dr. Eveline Lubbers on behalf of lawyers who brought a Judicial Review last year in the Court of Session. This was prepared for the Court, and has been amended further for MSPs to consider.
The Report outlines that undercover political policing took place in Scotland, the scale and scope of the surveillance was extensive. It presents an exploration of material in the public domain augmented with evidence sourced from first-hand accounts from those spied upon and lays out a variety of points indicating involvement in undercover policing operations by legacy Scottish police services. It provides a detailed analysis of the extent of undercover political policing at the organisational level, from Scottish staff seconded to crucial positions and at the practical operational level. Additionally, it critically examines the activities of known undercover officers in Scotland. The Report ends with a few cases of suspected undercover activities – naming a number of undercover officers and a section reviewing Scottish police involvement in the blacklisting of trade unionists.
The evidence presented in Political Undercover Policing in Scotland along with that outlined in the Sunday Post in my view shows not only a need for further careful investigation, crucially involving those affected by undercover political policing, but specifically a clear need for a public inquiry into political undercover policing north of the border.
The Home Office has failed to extend the Undercover Policing Inquiry north of the border and therefore I call on you to announce the creation of a Public Inquiry into undercover political policing in Scotland. Justice needs to be done, and seen to be done.