Police are wasting public money spying on non-violent protesters, say Greens

10 January 2011: The Green Party has spoken out against the "colossal waste of money" involved in the police infiltration of non-violent environmental groups.

The ongoing trial of six environmental activists, following protests at Ratcliff-on-Soar power station, came to a halt today after the activists asked for an inquiry to be held into the role of the under-cover officer, PC Mark Kennedy.

It is believed that PC Kennedy had been infiltrating environmental movements for many years, using the fake identity Mark Stone.

The operation is said to have cost the police in the region of £300,000.

Commenting on the exposure of the officer, Jenny Jones, Green Party member of the London Assembly said today: "With money so tight, the police have to pick their targets carefully and picking on a bunch of non-violent environmental protesters seems like a clear waste of money."

Mrs. Jones, who is also a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, continued: "The Met Police have enough trouble providing the resources to meet genuine terrorist threats, but conspiracy charges should never be brought against people planning a non-violent protest.

"The police should focus on bombers, rather than peaceful protest groups trying to close down a power station, or block a road in central London."

Jenny Jones concluded: "I will be asking the commissioner how many more Met officers are spending their lives embedded within environment groups and to publish the guidelines given to officers about the difference between collecting information and acting as an agent provocateur."

Source: Green Party (UK)