Met Police to answer undercover officer sex claims
The Metropolitan Police has agreed to reveal whether two men had relationships with women while working as undercover police officers.
It has so far refused to say whether the men worked for police because of a general policy of keeping identities of undercover officers secret.
But the force has now decided to comply with a High Court ruling which ordered it to admit or deny their involvement.
The officers were known by the aliases "Jim Sutton" and "Bob Robinson".
Three women are suing the force for deceit, assault and negligence over relationships they allegedly had with the pair.
The High Court deadline for accepting the terms of its ruling expires on Wednesday and the Met said that it did not intend to appeal and would comply with the judgment.
According to the High Court judgment, one woman, known as DIL, claimed she had an eight-year relationship with "Jim Sutton". She said they married in 2005 and had two children.
Another woman, TEB, alleges she had a relationship with him between 1997 and 1999.
A woman, named in court papers as Belinda Harvey, claims she had a relationship with "Bob Robinson" between 1987 and 1988.
The court said the Met must "admit or deny" four allegations:
- That officers, as part of their work as undercover officers and using false identities, engaged in long-term intimate sexual relationships with those whose activities the Met wished to observe
- This was authorised or acquiesced in by senior management
- "Jim Sutton" was such an officer
- "Bob Robinson" was such an officer
Mr Justice Bean said the claims related to the Special Demonstrations Squad (SDS) undercover unit prior to its disbandment in 2008.
"It is not suggested that the use of long-term sexual relationships of this kind as a police tactic is continuing," he said.
"It is also not argued that it would be appropriate now, nor that (if it did occur) it was appropriate then."
The judge said such a tactic would be "a gross abuse".
The Met will submit its responses to the court and to lawyers for the women but it is unclear when they will be made public.
The force is also facing a number of similar claims from other women concerning other men.