Skip to main content

Spycop boss admits he 'fundamentally disagrees' with undercover policing

A SPYCOPS boss who helped run a secret Scotland Yard unit that infiltrated left-wing groups has revealed that he “fundamentally disagreed” with undercover policing.

Anthony Greenslade was one of three managers serving in the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) in 1973, largely handling administrative tasks. 
He is one of 24 SDS managers who have provided evidence to the Undercover Policing Inquiry, which is examining the industrial-scale police spying on more than 1,000 protest groups over 40 years. 

In his witness statement, released this week, Mr Greenslade describes the practice of undercover policing as “damaging to officers.”

He wrote: “The only matter I wish to add is that I disagreed fundamentally with the principle of undercover policing.

“It was damaging to individuals: many suffered from the work and some left the police afterwards. I think some people are psychologically unsuited to that sort of work. As I am.”

Some officers who served in the SDS spent up to seven years undercover, despite early guidance stressing that officers should spend no more than two years in the field. 

One former manager said that this recommendation was intended to prevent officers “forgetting” that they were policemen. 


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 16,507
We need:£ 1,493
1 Days remaining
Donate today