November 21, 2016 by Stephen Bentley
Book Review: Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police
As a former UK undercover detective on the 1970s Operation Julie [ ASIN B01JUTPN30 Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story] who has written a book about my experiences, I thought it was high time I read this book by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis.
I am glad I did. It was an eye-opener and revealed a world I hadn’t got a clue existed even though I was part of one of the UKs largest drug busts. The book was brilliantly researched and well written. At times I had to remind myself that it was fact and not fiction. The likes of the SDS, Lambert and Kennedy have a lot to answer for. In my opinion they have brought undercover policing and the police service into disrepute. That sentence barely seems adequate to describe what they got up to. And for what? To spy on mostly innocent people who had committed no crime and were part of a peaceful political or environmental group. A sheer waste of taxpayers’ money!
I feel sorry for the victims of their duplicity especially the women who were duped into long-term relationships and bearing children to these sick people.
Never again! (I hope). Thank you to the authors for their excellent investigative journalism and a highly-readable book.
‘Undercover lays bare the deceit, betrayal and cold-blooded violation practised again and again by undercover police officers – troubling, timely and brilliantly executed.’ Henry Porter
The gripping stories of a group of police spies – written by the award-winning investigative journalists who exposed the Mark Kennedy scandal – and the uncovering of forty years of state espionage.
This was an undercover operation so secret that some of our most senior police officers had no idea it existed. The job of the clandestine unit was to monitor British ‘subversives’ – environmental activists, anti-racist groups, animal rights campaigners.
Police stole the identities of dead people to create fake passports, driving licences and bank accounts. They then went deep undercover for years, inventing whole new lives so that they could live incognito among the people they were spying on.
They used sex, intimate relationships and drugs to build their credibility. They betrayed friends, deceived lovers, even fathered children. And their operations continue today.
Undercover reveals the truth about secret police operations – the emotional turmoil, the psychological challenges and the human cost of a lifetime of deception – and asks whether such tactics can ever be justified.
I say that such tactics cannot be justified and have spoken out about it in my HuffPost UK blog article. You may read that here: