Greens welcome revelations of police eco-spy costs

Jan 18, 2011: The Green Party today welcomed revelations of the cost of police undercover operations involving peaceful environmental groups – but said the costs, perhaps £15m (1), represented a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The Green Party’s Jenny Jones, a member of both the London Assembly and the Metropolitan Police Authority, commented today:

“It's hard to know what we can believe from police spy Kennedy's stories, but it's hard to believe that this was a value for money exercise. I doubt that a total of £200k has been spent on eco activities by protesters in the last 30 years.

“Worse, targeting peaceful protesters means less cash to pay for anti-terrorism, where murder and maiming is the aim, not blockading a power station or sitting in trees.”

Recently announced plans by the Ministry of Justice to extend Freedom of Information laws should open up the previously unaccountable Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to public scrutiny and result in greater transparency. (2) Jenny welcomes this change, but in light of recent revelations suggests that the ACPO “should hand over its policing units to the Met immediately. The Met occasionally messes up, but at least it has independent scrutiny and a budget that is pored over for opportunities to save money.”

Media reports suggest that the Association of Chief Police Officers may have spent up to £15 million of tax revenue on infiltrating a peaceful protest movement.

Source: The Green Party

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