There could be more dead children's identities used by undercover officers, Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon said today, after it was revealed 42 dead children's identities had been taken.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has said he "apologises for the shock and offence" the undercover policing tactics of using dead children's names, and that this had been passed on to one family who discovered that their child's identity had been used.
Jules Carey, solicitor for Barbara Shaw who fears that her son Rod Richardson's name was used, said she feels her concerns have been "swept under the carpet".
What we heard this morning was not an apology but a PR exercise. The families of the dead children whose identities have been stolen by the undercover officers deserve better than this. They deserve an explanation, a personal apology and, if appropriate, a warning of the potential risk they face, in the exceptional circumstances, that their dead child's identity was used to infiltrate serious criminal organisations.
The harvesting of dead children's identities was only one manifestation of the rot at the heart of these undercover units which had officers lie on oath, conduct smear campaigns and use sexual relationships as an evidence-gathering tool.
In Ms Shaw's case, the Metropolitan Police have stated that the investigation into her complaint is complete but they have declined to provide her with a report on the outcome. They have refused to confirm or deny that the identity of her son was used by an undercover officer despite there being only one Rod Richardson born in 1973. And they have concluded that there is no evidence of misconduct or even performance issues to be addressed.
Ms Shaw has told me that she feels her complaint has been 'swept under the carpet" and she has instructed me to appeal this outcome.
Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon's report also revealed that the practice could have been more widely used, beyond Scotland Yard's Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), by police officers and possibly the security services.
It said: "It is a fact that undercover officers working in the field of serious and organised crime also need to establish secure covert identities, create legends, obtain documentation and if necessary withstand invasive scrutiny by their targets.
"It would be a mistake to assume that the identities of dead children were used solely by the SDS and the NPOIU and the possibility is that the tactic was more widely used."
The names of 42 dead children were used by undercover officers to create fake identities but their families have not been told because of the risk to police, a report said today.
Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon, who is leading an investigation into the activities of police moles, said that, while the relatives deserve an apology, revealing the names used "would and could put undercover officers at risk".
The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has apologised to one family for using the name of a dead child for an undercover officer.
I know people have been shocked, upset and even angered by what they've read and heard, and as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, I have a duty to account for what our predecessors have done when faced with serious challenges.
– Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Met Commissioner
I absolutely agree with Chief Constable Creedon that the Metropolitan Police should apologise for the shock and offence the use of this tactic has caused. My officers have this morning passed on that apology directly to one family, which has been told its child's identity may have been used, and fourteen families who have contacted us to ask whether this may have happened.
A Metropolitan Police review into undercover policing reveals identities of at least 42 dead children were used.