Police 'spied on' grieving family of Jean Charles de Menezes

Jul 24, 2014

Probe into Met's undercover squad set to 'severely criticise force for lack of regard to the rules'

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The grieving family of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was mistakenly shot by police in 2005, were reportedly "spied on" by undercover Scotland Yard detectives.

The 27-year-old Brazilian electrician was killed at Stockwell tube station after police mistook him for a bomb suspect two weeks after the 7 July terror attacks on London.

Nine years later, it has emerged that information was gathered and wrongly retained by police about the De Menezes family as they tried to seek justice for his death. And they are not the only relatives of victims to were targeted.

The revelations have been exposed by an internal investigation into the Metropolitan Police's undercover Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), which operated between 1968 and 2008. The findings of Operation Herne, led by the chief constable of Derbyshire Constabulary Mick Creedon, are due to be published later today.

The report is "poised to severely criticise the force for a lack of regard to the rules and law covering the deployment of undercover officers", says The Guardian, which triggered the investigation in 2011 with allegations of criminality by members of the squad.

The report is expected to say that the information collected by SDS "served no purpose in preventing crime or disorder".

As well as the De Menezes family, undercover police reportedly gathered information on the families of Cherry Groce, who was shot and paralysed by police in a raid on her home in 1985, sparking the Brixton riots, and Ricky Reel, a 20-year-old student whose body was discovered in the River Thames in 1997 after he was abused by two racist young men.

Ricky's mother Sukhdev Reel has been told that she had been secretly recorded taking part in a vigil and presenting a petition.

Scotland Yard claims the families were not the target of the operations and the information was gathered as part of a covert infiltration of political groups. It has approached the three families, inviting them to discuss their findings.

A spokesperson for the De Menezes Family Campaign, set up in 2005 to help the family seek justice for his death, described the revelations as "shameful".

Sign up for our daily newsletter