For Policing Minister, Nick Herbert, to agree that undercover police officers can use sexual relationships to ease their way into their role says more about Nick Herbert than it does about policing in the UK today.
This country has, since the days of Sir Robert Peel, been policed by consent. The central tenet of policing should be about transparency and fairness creating an equitable society where the wrong doers are punished and the victim supported. Suggesting that subterfuge of this magnitude is acceptable will be and should be abhorrent to the vast majority of men and women in our society.
There is, of course, nothing we can do to prevent the state spying on its citizens. Increased surveillance both overt and covert and particularly round our activities online, are a fact of life and one we know about even if we might not agree.
Where the suggestion of Herbert raises issues is the idea that sexual relationships can be used for policing purposes. Surely, as a society, we should hope to cling onto the idea that relationships between individuals, and certainly those that reach the level of a sexual liaison, are founded on trust if not love. Indeed, how will the legitimate partner of a police officer tasked with infiltrating criminal groups feel if they learn that their partner is expected to engage in such relationships?
We do not know if any children have been conceived within such a sham relationship and, if there have been, what is their status?
Of course there will be some, and presumably Herbert is with the group, who feel that there is no bridge to far when it comes to dealing with criminality hell bent on destroying our way of life. I am certainly not convinced that the group Mark Kennedy infiltrated had either the capacity or the will to take down our government and I find it laughable that we have concentrated on infiltrating protest groups while seemingly ignoring the terrible harm caused by real criminal gangs.
Our society is not only poorer for adopting the position put forward by Herbert, it shows that our political leaders are morally bankrupt and have no place in our modern, equitable society.
Shame on you Nick Herbert.
Published: June 18, 2012
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