Police chiefs have apologised unreservedly to seven women who were deceived into forming “abusive and manipulative” long-term relationships with undercover police officers.
The Metropolitan police have also paid substantial, undisclosed amounts of compensation to the women who had intimate relationships, lasting up to nine years, with the undercover spies.
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The comprehensive apology comes four years after the women launched legal action against the police, alleging the deception caused them emotional trauma.
As part of an out of court settlement, Martin Hewitt, an assistant commissioner at the Met, issued a statement saying: “Thanks in large part to the courage and tenacity of these women in bringing these matters to light it has become apparent that some officers, acting undercover whilst seeking to infiltrate protest groups, entered into long-term intimate sexual relationships with women which were abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong.
“I acknowledge that these relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma. I unreservedly apologise on behalf of the Metropolitan police service. I am aware that money alone cannot compensate the loss of time, their hurt or the feelings of abuse caused by these relationships.”
He added: “Most importantly, relationships like these should never have happened. They were wrong and were a gross violation of personal dignity and integrity.
Assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt apologises on behalf of the Metropolitan police
“The Metropolitan police recognises that these cases demonstrate that there have been failures of supervision and management. The Metropolitan police recognises that this should never happen again and the necessary steps must be taken to ensure that it does not.”