When the Undercover Policing Inquiry confirmed that Andy Coles had indeed been an undercover officer in the Special Demonstration Squad, you might have been forgiven for thinking that would put an end to his denials.
Instead, he had done something even more damning than his nine months of silence. He concedes he was a spycop but has completely denied the assertions by Jessica.
She has publicly described how he took advantage of her vulnerable state to groom her into a year-long relationship. It was in the exact style of other spycops before and after, relationships the Met admits ‘were a violation of the women’s human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma.’
Flat denial is an absurd stance for Coles to take. His behaviour towards women, including the extended relationship with Jessica, was witnessed by dozens of people.
His response is also despicably cruel. Having compounded Jessica’s trauma by not explaining or apologising, he has now gone full Rolf Harris on her. If she wants justice, she will be compelled to pick over the details of his abuse and have to amass the supporting evidence. Even Harvey Weinstein admits he has a problem.
For less than 200 words, Coles’ statement to the Peterborough Telegraph contains quite a number of misleading lines and blatant falsehoods.
‘I am pleased at last to be able to confirm that in my past I was deployed as an undercover police officer to infiltrate some of the most committed and violent animal liberation extremists operating in the UK in the early 1990s.
‘I am also pleased to confirm that both the IPCC and the Metropolitan Police have investigated the lurid claims made by a woman using the pseudonym ‘Jessica’ and have told me I face no charges or any further investigation into her allegations, which I am now able to deny publicly.
‘The right place to make further comment in this case is in the Public Inquiry where I welcome the opportunity to give my evidence in due course.
‘Animal Rights extremists are notorious for the intimidation and bullying of people they disagree with. I am a democratically elected representative for the people of Fletton and Woodston and I will continue to fulfil my duties as a councillor to the best of my ability and to act on their behalf to resolve problems despite ongoing protests by the extremists.
‘I will not make any further public comment on my past police role at this time.’
Let’s break that down.
‘I am pleased at last to be able to confirm that in my past I was deployed as an undercover police officer’
Nothing has prevented him doing this sooner. Numerous spycops have confirmed their identities, and several have given interviews in national media. There has been no active court case preventing his comment. His silence has been entirely his own choice.
His refusal to continue to give further explanation or details is also his choice. He remains able to speak about what he wants when he wants, as he has been throughout this scandal.
‘some of the most committed and violent animal liberation extremists’
He infiltrated groups that leafleted outside Boots in opposition to animal testing, hunt saboteurs, and people who occasionally damaged property or broke into animal breeders to rescue the animals. As well as exaggerating the danger from the animal rights activists, he fails to mention the peace groups he also infiltrated, presumably because he can’t tap into any scary caricatures.
‘both the IPCC and the Metropolitan Police have investigated the lurid claims’
Neither has investigated him. The Independent Police Complaints Commission briefly looked at his role as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner shortly after he left the post– not his work in the Met – before deciding they would not investigate him. Neither the IPCC or the Met have spoken to any of his accusers or victims.
The Met did instigate Operation Herne, a substantial police investigation into the political secret police units. Written by Chief Constable Mick Creedon, its second report was clear an unequivocal:
‘there are and never have been any circumstances where it would be appropriate for such covertly deployed officers to engage in intimate sexual relationships with those they are employed to infiltrate and target. Such an activity can only be seen as an abject failure of the deployment, a gross abuse of their role and their position as a police officer and an individual and organisational failing.’
Faced with this, Coles has to choose between admitting he was an abject failure, or else brazen it out and deny everything.
‘I will continue to fulfil my duties as a councillor to the best of my ability’
Most councillors are available to their electorate. They create channels to communicate with the public by holding surgeries and public meetings, and having an active social media presence. Andy Coles locked all his social media accounts as soon as he knew his secret was out in May last year and hasn’t been publicly available since. This public servant hides from the public. He could do much better.
Coles was Cambridgeshire’s Deputy Police & Crime Ccommissioner when he was exposed as a spycop in May last year. The Peterborough Telegraph says
‘At the time he said the coverage was “significantly impacting” on his ability to carry out the role.’
Also, if such an effect were enough to warrant resignation he would have also resigned as a councillor where he has brought controversy and shame into the council chamber. There is still no reasonable explanation for why he felt unfit to be Deputy PCC but still believes himself suitable to be a councillor and school governor.
ANDY COLES IS A LIAR
English libel laws are notoriously biased towards the complainant. The subject doesn’t need to prove it false, instead their accuser must prove the allegation true. What Jessica has said about Andy Coles is hugely damaging and defamatory. Why hasn’t he sued her?
Instead, she has brought a case against the Met. They ran these deployments with abuse of women as a core tactic. Operation Herne’s Chief Constable Creedon addressed this:
‘It is of real concern that a distinct lack of intrusive management by senior leaders within the MPS appears to have facilitated the development and apparent circulation of internal inappropriate advice regarding an undercover police officers engagement in sexual relationships.’
That appears to refer to the Special Demonstration Squad Tradecraft Manual which advises:
‘disastrous relationships with individuals who are not important to your sources of information’
We now know that the author was Andy Coles, giving advice after his deployment ended, drawing on his own experience.
Andy Coles abused his power as a police officer to be sexually aggressive towards several women. He groomed Jessica, then a vulnerable teenager, into a sexual relationship. This is, as the Met have described the same abuse by other spycops, a violation of human rights and a gross violation of personal dignity and integrity. Such men should not hold positions of public trust.
Coles knows all this so, as his disgraceful behaviour comes to light, he knows there can be no attempt to justify it. He kept his head in the sand until the public inquiry named him. Now he is lying.
His lying to the media is happening now. It is the measure of the man and his character today. His time as a spycop can’t be written off as something from a long time ago. He is not only an abuser, he is a defender of abuse and a liar.