Police 'spied' on family of man mistakenly shot by officers

Police reportedly spied on the family of Jean Charles de Menezes - who was shot dead by officers who mistook him for a suicide bomber in 2005.

A report on undercover policing released today is critical of the Metropolitan Police.

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Police 'spying' news like 'a bomb exploding in my head'

The mother of a 20-year-old student who died in mysterious circumstances in 1997 has told ITV News that being told a secret police unit was keeping information on her was like "a bomb exploding in my head".

Ricky Reel was with his friends on a night out before they were all racially abused by two white men.

The student disappeared shortly after that incident and his body was later found in the River Thames.

Today's report found that a secret police unit kept information on families of 17 justice campaigns.

In response to the findings, Ricky's mother Sukhdev Reel told ITV News: "Please spy on criminals, what crime did I commit?"

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Police unit 'spying' on justice campaigns 'distressing'

The Chief Constable who led the report that found a secret Scotland Yard unit held information on families of 17 justice campaigns admitted it would be "distressing" for relatives to learn that their details were being held.

Scotland Yard held information on families of 17 justice campaigns. Credit: Eye Ubiquitous

Mick Creedon, Derbyshire Chief Constable, added that it "must seem inexplicable" for the families who have had their details held by the force.

One reference in the report was to an unnamed individual planning to go to a funeral, even though "there was no intelligence to indicate that the funeral would have been anything other than a dignified event".

Mr Creedon said: "Unless the information could have prevented crime or disorder it should not have been retained."

Despite the report finding no evidence that covert operations targeted grieving families, the fact information that had no relevance in preventing crimes was kept, was heavily criticised.

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Justice campaign families to be 'informed' on 'spying'

Families of 17 justice campaigns - for murder victims or those who died following police contact - will be informed on what information Scotland Yard held about them.

Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon, who led the inquiry, said:

Operation Herne has identified emerging evidence that in addition to the Stephen Lawrence Campaign, a number of other justice campagins have been mentioned within SDS records. Seventeen such justice campaigns have been identified so far.

These range between 1970 and 2005, and are as a result of deaths in police custdoy, following police contact and the victims of murders.

It is the intention of Chief Constable Creedon and Operation Herne to inform all of the families involved and share, where possible, the knowledge and information held.

– Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon
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De Menezes family 'distressed' by spying claims

Accusations that Scotland Yard officers spied on the family of Jean Charles de Menezes has "exacerbated" the distress felt by the Brazilian's relatives - who were mourning the anniversary of his shooting yesterday.

It is shameful that the Metropolitan Police spied on the legitimate campaign activities of a grieving family who were simply trying to get the answers they deserved after their loved one was killed by police officers.

It begs the question - what exactly were the police spying for? We can only assume they were gathering information in an attempt to discredit the family's campaign for justice in order to deflect accountability for their own failings.

Hearing the news just one day after the anniversary of the shooting exacerbates the family's distress at a time when they are remembering Jean Charles and what he meant to them - a loving, caring 27-year-old, shot down in the prime of his life.

– A spokeswoman for the Jean Charles De Menezes Family Campaign
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Claims Scotland Yard spied on de Menezes family

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes - who was shot dead by officers who mistook him for a suicide bomber in 2005 - are considering legal action against Scotland Yard after it was claimed the force spied on them.

Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police in July 2005. Credit: PA / Family Handout

Scotland Yard is embroiled in a fresh scandal after claims officers gathered information about several grieving families involved in justice groups, including relatives of Mr de Menezes.

It is also alleged the force collected data on relatives of Cherry Groce, whose death sparked the Brixton riots, and Ricky Reel who died in mysterious circumstances in 1997.

The latest report on the force's secretive Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) will be published today. The unit, Special Branch and senior management at the Metropolitan Police are set for criticism.

Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon, who is leading the inquiry, will say that rules were flouted over what information should have been kept on record.

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Met 'collected data which didn't help prevent crime'

The senior management of Scotland Yard moles showed a "lack of regard" for the rules after collecting information on groups "which served no purpose in preventing crime", a report has found.

My report is very clear that criticism must be levelled at the Metropolitan Police Service for keeping information, which had been gathered by undercover officers, which served no purpose in preventing crime or disorder.

This is not a criticism of the deployment of the individual officers, but of the lack of regard the SDS, Special Branch and the Metropolitan Police Service senior management paid to the rules and legislation that clearly set out what they should, and should not have, collected and retained.

– Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon

However, Mr Creedon said there was no evidence to suggest that officers deliberately targeted black justice groups that pressed for action following police shootings, deaths in police custody and serious racist assaults.

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