Friday, December 05, 2014

More entrapment in the UK

Three years ago, we learned that the British police had engaged in extensive infiltration and undercover spying on peaceful protest groups. Since then convictions have been overturned, and we've learned that police may have organised one of the UK's worst riots. Now it seems they've also been encouraging people to commit crime, so they can arrest them and tar the protest movement:

An undercover police officer has been accused of encouraging and helping an animal rights campaigner to commit illegal acts which led to his being jailed for four years, according to legal documents.

The campaigner, Geoff Sheppard, has lodged an appeal to overturn his convictions for possessing a shotgun and components for an incendiary device, alleging, in effect, that he was a victim of an agent provocateur.

Sheppard said the undercover officer, whose covert role is revealed by the Guardian this Thursday, actively encouraged him to buy the shotgun and offered him money to purchase it. He claims that as part of a “determined, cynical, and targeted effort” against him, the undercover spy asked him for instructions on making an incendiary device, and tested it.

I guess they couldn't find any real violent activists, so they had to create some to justify the operation.

This is a clear case of entrapment, and if Sheppard is guilty, then the undercover officer should also have been jailed for conspiracy. It remains to be seen whether the British justice system can recognise that, and take a stand against cops who directly solicit crime, or whether it will collude with them in turning people into criminals.