The Secret World of Police Surveillance
Date of publication: November 2012
Undercover lifts the lid on police surveillance, and a programme to covertly monitor political activists that has been one of the government's best-kept secrets since 1968. It exposes the world of wire taps, private investigators, surveillance units, vehicle tracking devices, and secret government databases that list forensic details about all citizens who take part in peaceful protests. It tells the gripping human stories of six police spies, part of a covert team of agents that for four decades have had license to break the law and sleep with the enemy.
Chief among them is PC Mark Kennedy, whose audacious seven years living a double-life as an environmental activist were made public in January 2011, in the worst scandal concerning undercover policing in British history. This is the definitive account of Mark Kennedy and undercover policing, written by the award-winning investigative journalists who brought the scandal to the world's attention. They are the only people to have spoken extensively with Kennedy while he was in hiding in the United States, as well as to his close friends and lovers.
Between them, they have uncovered secret databases of 'domestic extremists', getting hold of files that reveal the seemingly banal information about protesters being accumulated by police. Their investigations have spanned the use of private investigators and attempts to recruit informants. The journalists' knowledge and expertise is deepened with the assistance of Pete Black, who - in contrast to Kennedy - gives an authentic insider account of the trials and tribulations of an undercover officer at the heart of the protest movement, and the psychological feat of pulling that off.