Police officers stole the identities of 80 dead children to create undercover aliases, it is alleged.
By Hayley Dixon
8:37PM GMT 03 Feb 2013
The Metropolitan Police took details from birth and death records without the consent of the children’s families and issued fake passports, driving licences and National Insurance Numbers for officers infiltrating protest groups.
Some spent a decade using the stolen identities and the practice went on for 30 years, according to The Guardian
Scotland Yard, who said the practice would not be authorised now, confirmed they have received a formal complaint, which is being investigated by the Directorate of Professional Standards.
They will also examine the practice as part of an investigation into the “past arrangements for undercover identities used by Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) officers”.
The practice, introduced 40 years ago but deemed classified intelligence, was fictionalised in Frederick Forsyth’s novel The Day of the Jackal. As a result officers have nicknamed the process of searching for suitable identities the “jackal run”.
One officer working undercover with anti-racist groups in the 1990s said he felt he was “stomping on the grave” of the four-year-old boy whose identity he had used. He even visited the child’s home to back up his story
Another officer, who used the identity of a car-crash victim, said he was aware the parents would “still be grief-stricken” and he had “dilemmas” as they had not consented.
They had worked for the controversial unit, which was disbanded in 2008, alongside Sergeant John Dines who it is said used the identity of an eight-year-old who died from leukaemia in 1968.
He had a two-year relationship with an activist. When he vanished she tried to trace the family of the dead boy – believing it was his. She said she was relieved she never found them.
There have been claims that the practice stopped in the mid-1990s, but the case being investigated relates to 2003.
Around 80 officers are reported to have used the identities between 1968 and 1994.
The Met have refused to confirm or deny the identity of the undercover officers.