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Ford calls for wider undercover policing inquiry

March 1, 2018 12:48 PM

David Ford MLA PenAlliance MLA David Ford has called for the inquiry into undercover policing in England and Wales to also cover activities in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The inquiry is investigating the activity of undercover officers, their conduct and impact of their activities. The Scottish Government has now called for it to be extended there.

"When I was Minister of Justice I called on the Home Secretary to allow the inquiry to also consider actions of undercover police officers from England and Wales who were infiltrating environmental groups which were active across the UK. The Home Office refused to extend the inquiry to the whole UK," said Mr Ford.

"It is becoming increasingly clear the actions of police officers were carried out continuously across the entire UK, and indeed into the Irish Republic. It is not tenable to say the inquiry must stop taking evidence when undercover officers got on a plane or a boat.

"The groups infiltrated were not terrorists but environmental campaigners whose views are now mainstream. It is entirely legitimate to question the activities of both the officers responsible and those who directed them. This applies across the whole country.

"Confidence in policing requires openness and transparency. Nowhere is this more important than in Northern Ireland. I join the Scottish Justice Secretary in calling for the inquiry's remit to be extended and am writing to the Home Secretary, calling on her to act."