It is now clear that police infiltration of left wing and campaigning groups is far larger than had previously been thought.
The particular revelation that police targeted not just anti-capitalist and direct action focused groups but also those campaigning against deaths in custody shows how desperate the police are to stop prosecutions of their own.
2018 saw the highest number of deaths in police custody in a decade. 283 deaths were recorded in England and Wales following police contact. 170 of these are recorded as “other” so do not relate to police shootings, suicides in custody or road traffic incidents.
This comes on the back of a recent report which shows the Metropolitan police have increased their use of force by 79% between April and August 2018. Unsurprisingly black people are far more likely to be the ones on the receiving end this police violence.
13% of London’s population is black yet 39% of the use of force was used against black people. The white and Asian populations in London are 59% and 18% but only 42% and 11% of occasions of use of force were done against these groups.
The Met have attempted to defend themselves by saying that this is new data and there are no benchmarks but also that the cuts and an increase in violent crime have meant this rise was almost inevitable. Whichever way they try and explain it away, police are far more likely to use force, which includes handcuffing, against young black men than against any other group within the city.
Over 50% of people arrested in London are from ethnic groups other than white; black people are three times more likely to be arrested than white people in England and Wales.
The fact that the police would go out of their way to find out what campaigns against deaths in custody and miscarriages of justice are up to while at the same time complaining about the cuts to their frontline services, shows exactly what their real priorities are.