The Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed that London’s Metropolitan Police have shredded key files relating to police undercover investigations against union members, despite an order to retain such documents.
The Undercover Policing Inquiry chaired by Sir Christopher Pitchford is tasked with investigating decades of police undercover abuses, against a backdrop of suspected espionage against political and union activists by the police.
A spokeswoman for the Pitchford inquiry said: “The destruction of documents occurred before the inquiry was established and the IPCC is the appropriate body to investigate in these circumstances.
“We refute the accusation that the inquiry has failed to secure documents that will be central to the investigation. Since its inception the inquiry has undertaken a number of steps to ensure documents are preserved.
“We will continue to undertake all reasonable steps to ensure relevant documents are preserved. It is too early to say whether or not material that has been destroyed is relevant to the inquiry.”
Pat Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity Trade Union, said - “Clearly state sponsored infiltration of and espionage against political and union targets is a cause for concern in a country that purports to be a free and democratic. Solidarity Trade Union urges Sir Christopher Pitchford’s Inquiry to look into the allegations concerning the shredding of police documents with urgency and take immediate steps to ensure no further documents are destroyed.” -