An undercover policeman whose actions led to the collapse of a trial of environmental protesters has voiced “outrage” over an official report which claimed he was “resistant to management intervention”.
Mark Kennedy went undercover to infiltrate left-wing protest groups and spent seven years in character travelling to 11 different countries on 40 occasions. He posed as long-haired drop-out climber Mark “Flash” Stone, slept with two women and fell in love with one.
But the review by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary said he ignored orders, carried on working after being arrested and seems to have believed he was best placed to make decisions about his deployment. The report said he was “resistant to management intervention”, and review and oversight were insufficient. In an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Kennedy was asked if he recognised he was “resistant to management intervention”.
“I found that, well, I was outraged, to be honest,” he said. “I was so closely monitored by my cover officer, I had one cover officer who was in contact with me every single day that I was deployed in those seven years.”
Mr Kennedy said a report claim he had worked outside the investigation’s boundaries by accompanying a protester abroad in 2009 was not true. “Everywhere I went and everything that I did was authorised.
“I perceived that I was being told by my cover officer that the authorities were in place for me to travel.
“I honestly think that the lust for intelligence and other people’s career development really overshadowed the care and attention that should have been placed, or should have been there, for me and for other officers because I wasn’t the only officer who was travelling to all these countries to various different protests.”
Last January the trial of six protesters accused of planning to invade the UK’s second largest power station, Ratcliffe-on-Soar near Nottingham, collapsed because Mr Kennedy offered to give evidence on their behalf. The HMIC review into general undercover policing was ordered after questions were raised over the lengthy and costly investigation involving Mr Kennedy.
The report concluded that tighter controls were needed and Mr Kennedy had worked outside the code of conduct for undercover officers.