Dead baby claims show police have 'lost moral compass'

Feb 4, 2013

Undercover police at Scotland Yard have been accused of stealing the identities of dead children

Oli Scarff/Getty Images

A PUBLIC inquiry has been called for after police allegedly stole the identities of dead children for use by dozens of undercover officers.

The identities of up to 80 children were used by police trying to infiltrate protest groups, without the knowledge or consent of their parents, claims The Guardian.

"Generations of police officers trawled through national birth and death records in search of suitable matches," said the paper. "Undercover officers created aliases based on the details of the dead children and were issued with accompanying identity records such as driving licences and national insurance numbers. Some of the police officers spent up to 10 years pretending to be people who had died."

Scotland Yard said the practice was not "currently" authorised and said it would investigate the "past arrangements" used by undercover officers in the Special Demonstration Squad. The Guardian claims that the dead children’s identities were stolen between 1968 and 1994.

Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald has called for a public inquiry into the "seedy" allegations, reported the Daily Telegraph, and said police appeared to have "completely lost their moral compass".

The latest revelations come two years after several undercover police officers, including PC Mark Kennedy, were exposed for having sexual relationships with people in the organisations they had infiltrated.

"How are you supposed to maintain a level of fair and objective evidence-gathering if you are having sex with the person you are targeting, fathering a baby and then abandoning it, using a dead child's identity?" said Macdonald.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, described the practice as "gruesome", according to The Independent. The Guardian reported that Pat Gallen, the Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner in charge of the complaints department, had been summoned to parliament to answer questions about the claims on Tuesday.

Sign up for our daily newsletter