For over four decades British police have been stealing the identities of dead children and using them as aliases for their undercover operations, some of which lasted for as long as ten years.
It is estimated that around 80 identities have been adopted by the Metropolitan police with passports, national insurance cards and driving licenses issued for the stolen identity, a Guardian investigation has revealed.
The probe alleges that the Metropolitan police secretly authorized such activities back in the 1960’s to infiltrate protest groups. They did so without informing the parents of the dead children.
"[The police] should have never had this authorization. They basically see themselves as above the law," investigative journalist Tony Gosling told . The police explained to the newspaper that the practice was not "currently" authorized but said that it will investigate the claims made by the Guardian into “past arrangements for undercover identities used by SDS [Special Demonstration Squad] officers.” The Guardian based its story primarily on the testimony of two former officers of the SDS, who claimed they had lived under the false identity of dead children and were issued with identity records, such as driving licences and national insurance documents.
The investigation has revealed that at least 80 policemen have used such identities between 1968 and 1994.
"It’s almost like Scotland Yard is being run like some kind of secret cult. And we’ve got to break that cult if we're going to have justice and we’re going to have decent, fair policing," Gosling said.
The practice was reportedly stopped in the 1990’s with the introduction of digital technology into public records. But the Metroplolitan police said they were investigating a case from 2003. Originally, it was believed that such methods would provide a legitimate cover background for police agents who had infiltrated extreme political groups, animal rights activists and potentially terrorist cells.