‘Police were spying rather than looking for killers’

Ricky Reel
Ricky Reel

source: The Guardian
published: 27 August 2014

Sukhdev Reel puts her hand to her chest and pulls her blouse tight around her. “I don’t want to use the word naked, but I just sort of feel …” Across the desk, her daughter Tish watches her carefully. “Stripped of your dignity a bit?” she suggests. Sukhdev nods. “Who was watching me? All I can see is eyes. I can’t get rid of them,” she says, her voice rising to a high, shaky hiccup.

It’s been that way since last month, when the Reel family were summoned to a meeting with Derbyshire police officers working on Operation Herne, the internal inquiry set up to investigate allegations surrounding the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), the now disbanded Scotland Yard undercover unit.

There, Sukhdev was told that her name appeared in 10 secret reports – five them of them “appropriate” and five “not appropriate” – gathered in the period when she was campaigning for a better investigation into her son Ricky’s death, and criticising the police vocally.

Another 17 families running “justice campaigns”, including the relatives of Stephen Lawrence and Jean Charles de Menezes, have also been told that they were reported on by SDS officers who had infiltrated political groups.

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