Between 1968 and 2010 more than one thousand groups and many more individuals on the left of the political spectrum were targeted by intrusive police surveillance.
This intervention gives an overview of what has become known as the Spycops scandal and the active role of the grassroot movements that were spied on, while focusing on the authors’ own organisation, the Undercover Research Group.
It explores how a critical approach to the Undercover Policing Inquiry had been productive, while conceding that misgivings about engagement are understandable and valid as well.
This paper also considers how the impact of this mode of policing are still being felt today and discusses whether the current hostile environment for protesters makes a reoccurrence of these abuses more likely.
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