The identities of senior police officers in Scotland linked to a secret Metropolitan Police division under investigation are revealed today by The Ferret, prompting renewed calls for the Pitchford Inquiry to be extended to Scotland.
A Police Scotland response to questions submitted under Freedom of Information legislation reveals the names of high ranking Scottish police officers who attended meetings of the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee, aka ACPO TAM.
ACPO TAM is responsible for counter terrorism and oversaw the UK’s national domestic extremism units whose activities are being investigated by Lord Justice Pitchford.
The committee’s remit covered undercover officers with the Metropolitan Police who infiltrated campaigning groups and spied on animal rights activists and environmentalists, among others deemed domestic extremists.
The Ferret – publishing this information today in tandem with the Daily Record – also obtained details of Police Scotland’s command structure for the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005 when the undercover Met Police officer Mark Kennedy was operating in Scotland with colleagues.
Kennedy was one of several undercover police officers who entered into relationships with women during covert operations.
Another called Bob Lambert fathered a child with a woman he was spying on and the actions of officers with the disgraced Met Police unit led to the Pitchford Inquiry being set up.
The public inquiry will investigate the policing of domestic extremism and also alleged miscarriages of justice linked to police spies in England and Wales.
However, revelations that undercover Met Police officers – including Kennedy – also worked north of the border led to calls for Pitchford to cover Scotland too.
Senior officers in Scotland who met with ACPO TAM included Sir Willie Rae, former Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, and Paddy Tomkins, former Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police.
Sir Stephen House – who stepped down as Chief Constable of Scotland last year – also attended ACPO TAM meetings.
Former Assistant Chief Constables Colin McCashey and Ronnie Liddle – both now retired – were also listed in the Police Scotland FOI reply.
DCC Iain Livingstone still serves with Police Scotland and was also named as having attended ACPO TAM meetings.
Senior officers were members of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) which ceased to operate on 1st April 2o13 when Police Scotland was established.
The Police Scotland FOI reply also said that DCC Livingstone, along with Sir Stephen House, ACC Ruaraidh Nicolson and new Chief Constable of Scotland, Phil Gormley, have all attended ACPO TAM meetings since the formation of Police Scotland.
It emerged last weekend that Chief Constable Gormley is expected to give evidence during the Pitchford Inquiry.
Both of these now defunct units investigated domestic extremism and will be scrutinised during the Pitchford Inquiry.
Mr Gormley was head of Special Branch when the SDS was running Carlo Neri, an undercover officer who had relationships with two women who are now taking legal action against the Met.
Campaigners calling for the Pitchford Inquiry to be extended to Scotland said senior officers should have known that Met Police spies were operating in Scotland and should be questioned.
Senior officers leading the policing of the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005, when the SDS was in Scotland, included ACC Ian Dickinson who was closely involved in counter terrorism.
Paddy Tomkins was also involved in policing the G8 Summit. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Police Service.
Donal O’Driscoll, of Undercover Research Group, has been researching and exposing police spies while calling for Pitchford to cover Scotland.
He said: “This information shows that through ACPOS, Scottish police officers played a role overseeing undercover police officers such as Mark Kennedy and cannot deny knowing about their activities, including in Scotland.”
“We know that many of the spycops were active in Scotland or holidayed there with the women they targeted for relationships. For those most affected by these injustices it is vital for the full story of the abuse to come out, and for this reason alone the Pitchford Inquiry must be extended to Scotland.”
Labour MSP Neil Findlay has also campaigned for the public inquiry to cover Scotland. He said: “Evidence of Scottish involvement in the undercover policing scandal grows by the day.”
“We now must have all of this brought out in the open with a full public inquiry in Scotland. We cannot have people in England and Wales having access to justice but people in Scotland denied.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We do not routinely comment on covert policing operations.”
“It is a matter for the public inquiry into undercover policing who is called to provide evidence and that request will be considered if received by Police Scotland.”
The Scottish Government has said it would explore the possibility of extending Pitchford to Scotland with the Home Secretary, Theresa May.
When asked what progress had been made a spokesperson for the Scottish Government, said: “Discussions concerning extending the Pitchford Inquiry to cover the activities of the Metropolitan Units in Scotland are ongoing.”
In January, The Ferret revealed that Ronnie Liddle – Scotland’s former counter-terrorism chief– was seconded to a controversial undercover Met Police unit now under investigation.
Mr Liddle was head of CID at Lothian and Borders Police before being appointed to lead counter-terrorism in Scotland in May 2012.
But he was seconded to the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit (CTIU), responsible for undercover police, seven months later.
Part of his remit was overseeing domestic extremism, including officers spying on protest groups in Britain.
Mr Liddle’s secondment to the Met Police was detailed in the minutes of a Lothian and Borders Police Board meeting in 2013.
It says Liddle was: “Temporarily promoted to Assistant Chief Constable from 23/4/12 upon secondment to CTIU for the period 23/4/12 to 15/12/12.”
Part of his remit at CTIU included responsibility for national domestic extremism.
Last month, more than 100 people signed a letter demanding that the Met Police revealed the fake names used by police spies ahead of the inquiry beginning.
The 133 signatories also called for a list of protest groups infiltrated by undercover officers to be made public.
The people who signed the letter will each play a key role in the Pitchford Inquiry.
People who signed the letter include Harry Halpin who told the Sunday Mail that an undercover officer called Mark Kennedy duped him into allowing access to his personal computer.
At the time, Haplin was a climate change activist studying for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh.
Another signatory was Jason Kirkpatrick, an activist who befriended Kennedy and suspects the officer interfered with his media work during the 2005 global summit at Gleneagles.
Kate Wilson also signed the letter. She successful sued the Met after being duped into a relationship with Kennedy who was in Scotland working undercover on 14 occasions.
The letter was published on a website called Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (Cops).
In our view, the police’s ‘neither confirm nor deny’ policy is less about protecting individuals and far more about blocking exposure of misdeeds.CAMPAIGN OPPOSING POLICE SURVEILLANCE
It begins: “Dear Lord Justice Pitchford, As 133 of the inquiry’s core participants, we write to share our collective view that a fundamental requirement for the inquiry’s success is to instruct police to disclose, as soon as possible, a list of names of all the organisations about whom intelligence was gathered; the cover names (not the real identities) of the individual officers responsible for infiltrating and reporting on activists and campaigns; and the individual Special Branch reports for each core participant group or individual.
“Core Participants and other current and potential witnesses are likely to struggle to provide testimony as long as there remains inadequate or non-existent information available to them.”
“We are deeply concerned that a unique and historic opportunity may be lost unless the inquiry is able to provide the vital details we seek.”
The letter criticises the Met Police for failing to reveal the names used by undercover officers, accusing the force of obstructing the inquiry to serve its own interests.
It says: “We appreciate that the police will use every possible argument against providing greater openness and transparency, although there is no evidence that the public exposure of any undercover officer to date has either placed them at personal risk or posed any threat to national security.”
“In our view, the police’s ‘neither confirm nor deny’ policy is less about protecting individuals and far more about blocking exposure of misdeeds.”
The Met Police has refused to release the names of undercover officers as they have a policy of protecting covert tactics and the safety of officers and their families.
Image by Carlos Latuff
Israel bans entry for two more US activists
Israel has banned an American activist who has worked for years helping Palestinians in Gaza, after denying her entry into the country, detaining her for hours and deporting her against her will. The woman’s ban comes after Israel banned five U.S. citizens at the border in July, all of them the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, and another American woman last week crossing from Jordan.
Washington D.C.-based activist, Pam Bailey, 59, who has been to Gaza many times before, arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport on Sunday and told passport control the truth; that she said was there helping a Swedish women’s aid group, Women to Women (Kvinde til Kvinde), that works alongside the Switzerland-based human rights organization Euro-Mediterranean Rights Human Rights…
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A Jewish historian gave evidence to police investigating allegations of sexual abuse against the late Lord Janner, it has emerged.
Gavin Littaur, a 66-year-old postal expert, was questioned by Leicestershire Police about a brief encounter he had with Greville Janner during the 1970s.
Mr Littaur wrote to the JC after reading an interview with Lord Janner’s son, Daniel Janner QC, who suggested that the case against his father was backed by people who are “driven by claiming compensation”.
When Lord Janner died last December, aged 87, he was facing a criminal hearing, accused of 22 charges involving 13 complainants between 1963 and 1988. A growing number of them have launched civil cases seeking damages from his £2 million estate.
While Mr Littaur, from Hendon, north-west London, does not claim to have been abused by Lord Janner, he recalled being propositioned by him during his early twenties. The politician was a close friend of Mr Littaur’s parents and had been invited to the family home for dinner.
I thought it was right for me to approach the police
Mr Littaur said: “He was very charming, articulate and clever. While my parents cleared up, they said ‘go and look after Greville in the lounge’.
“He was asking me about my life and what I did. I was asking him about the Jewish community and the law. We were chatting away and he seemed pleasant and talkative. But then very smoothly – as smooth as silk – he said ‘would you like to come back to join me for a sauna?'”
Mr Littaur, who is heterosexual, unequivocally rejected the offer and immediately excused himself. When he told his parents, his mother was “very jumpy”, but his father “was faintly amused”.
While nothing further occurred, Mr Littaur said he had “absolutely no question” about the “improper and inappropriate suggestion” which left him feeling “imposed upon”.
The two men never crossed paths again.
But Mr Littaur contacted police last year when he read about the accusations against Lord Janner.
“I believe bad things happen when good people stay silent, so on balance I thought it right to approach the police. I thought it was so long ago and they would think nothing of it.”
Their response, however, surprised him. Two officers travelled from Leicester to spend two hours interviewing Mr Littaur.
They said his story “tied in” with the accounts of others. He has had no further involvement with the inquiry, but contacted the JC after reading Mr Janner’s comments about those claiming to have been abused.
Mr Littaur: “I don’t like aspersions cast on myself and possibly other people and I thought I should speak up.
“I have no agenda and no axe to grind – I just want the truth to come out, whatever the truth is.”
Lord Janner’s family have repeatedly denied he was engaged in any wrongdoing.
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR – The Portuguese government has withdrawn from a joint European Union-funded project with the Israeli Ministry of Public Security, the Israeli National Police and Israel’s Bar Ilan university. The announcement by the Ministry of Justice comes after a campaign by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists, opposition politicians, and other civil society groups. The LAW TRAIN project, aimed at unifying police interrogation methodologies, generated controversy because of opposition to Israel’s participation in the EU’s Horizon 2020 research framework and the documented human rights abuses perpetrated by the Israeli entities taking part.
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Kent County Council have released a 1995 inspection report into Frontier House Childrens Home, in reply to a Freedom of Information request 
The Report is reproduced below. It is report dated 12 Jun 1995 by Geoff Senior, Inspection Officer, Canterbury and Thanet area, after an inspection visit to Frontier House Childrens Home on 6 Jan 1995.
It is a useful document as it gives some facts, supplemented by other answers to the request. Registration for Frontier House was granted from 12 Jan 1993 in the name of John Burdock Persich and Hazel Persich. It was cancelled on 8/11/95 but was appealed by the Persichs, so the ending of registration was finally ratified on the 12/1/96 [1a]. It also gives the dates of several other inspection visits. The Report says it should be read in conjunction with Reports prepared by S Travers, Dover Social Services, which details the joint…
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The independent inquiry examining sexual abuse claims against Greville Janner will hear testimony from a further six alleged victims, it was confirmed today.
Previously, the number of people understood to be alleging they had been sexually assaulted by the former Labour MP for Leicester West stood at 27.
However, the further six ‘complainants’ were granted core participant status by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, (IICSA).
Core participants will deliver their testimonies to the inquiry and be granted special rights, such as receiving documents, making legal submissions, suggesting questions and receiving advance notice of the inquiry’s report.
That means a total of 33 alleged victims will testify they were alleged by the Labour politician.
According to documents released by the IICSA today, most allege abuse took place when they were living in children’s homes.
Their lawyer said all six had contacted Leicestershire Police in the past but their allegations had not resulted in criminal charges against the politician.
The veteran Labour politician – who was accused of 22 sexual offences against boys between 1963 and 1988 – died, aged 87, shortly before Christmas.
His death ended the prospect of his alleged victims’ evidence ever being tested in a criminal court.
The veteran politician’s family says he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
The IICSA was created by the Government to ask whether efforts to try the former Labour MP for Leicester West for alleged child abuse when he was alive and well were “hindered or prevented” by public authorities.
The inquiry, which is conducting a number of separate investigations into alleged sexual abuse by people in positions of power, will issue a “finding of facts” report at its conclusion.
Leicestershire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service will be asked why the politician was not charged with offences against children when he was alive and well and what was known about his alleged sexual interest in children.
Leicestershire County Council, which was responsible for children’s home in which abuse allegedly took place, is also to be asked to account for its actions.
Liz Dux, specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon who represents 16 of Lord Janner’s alleged victims, including the six new complainants, said: “This is not a case of new alleged victims coming forward, but more those who have already made allegations of serious sexual assault wanting to have their evidence heard by the inquiry after suffering in silence and being ignored for so long.
“As a result we welcome them being made core participants.”
Prof Jay led the groundbreaking public inquiry which uncovered the sexual exploitation of 1,400 young women in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, between 1997 and 2013.
Read more at http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/greville-janner-more-alleged-victims-cleared-to-testify-at-sex-abuse-inquiry/story-29643973-detail/story.html#V7Y4vrbO8wMZmhS8.99