Responding to the publication of report 1 of Operation Herne into the Use of covert identities by the Met police
Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, said:
“There is an overwhelming case for more safeguards on under-cover police operations.
“They can be vitally important, for instance in protecting children online and tackling serious and organised crime.
“But the details emerging from news reports and now Operation Herne show that in some cases things have gone badly wrong, and the monitoring and safeguards weren't strong enough to sort things out.
“We still need to get to the bottom of what happened, but it’s clear changes need to be made in how undercover operations are authorised and how they are independently monitored.
“As I set out in my speech on liberty and security, there is now a strong case for independent pre-authorisation, for example by the Office of Surveillance Commissioner, especially for the small number of long term covert operations.
“And there also needs to be independent oversight and scrutiny of long term operations – not just a paper based exercise – either by the Surveillance Commissioner or the inspectorate.”