Undercover police officer Andy Coles (2nd from left) on a march to the US airbase at Fairford, 16 March 1991

Third Woman Sexually Targeted by Andy Coles Speaks Out

Undercover police officer Andy Coles (2nd from left) on a march to the US airbase at Fairford, 16 March 1991
Undercover police officer Andy Coles (2nd from left) on a march to the US airbase at Fairford, Gloucestershire, 16 March 1991
(pic: Peace News)

A third woman who was sexually targeted by undercover police officer Andy Coles has responded to his recent denial of his abuse of women and his caricaturing of those he spied upon.

Emily Johns, like ‘Joy‘, rejected Coles’ advances. She was involved in a peace campaign that Coles infiltrated – an element of his deployment that he’s failed to mention, seemingly because it doesn’t fit with his need to portray himself as valiantly protecting the public from dangerous extremists.

Here, she expresses her outrage at his distortions and denial.

Peterborough councillor Andy Coles said to the Peterborough Telegraph two weeks ago:

“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 people of Peterborough should be alarmed that their elected representative does not tell the truth. He does not respect the Home Office’s public inquiry. He does not uphold democracy.

The parents and teachers at The Voyager Academy (now Queen Katharine Academy) and West Town Primary Academy should be very concerned that one of their school governors is a liar and was a professional sexual predator.

I was targeted by the policeman Andy Coles under his pseudonym Andy Davey. I was not a “violent extremist”, nor involved in animal liberation. I was a young woman who believed that we had a right and a duty to say that a better world is necessary and possible.

In 1991 I was a member of a London-based peace group, ARROW, Active Resistance to the Roots of War. I was 26 years old, an art student at Goldsmiths College. Last summer I discovered that during this time I had been under surveillance by the state, by the anti-extremism unit of the Metropolitan Police. I was targeted by Andy Coles. Fortunately for me I rejected his “romantic” advances.

Andy Coles has been selective about the political groups he chose to mention to the Peterborough Telegraph.

In 1991 Britain began the terrible war on Iraq. In 1991 I was articulating a set of values different from those of the ruling political parties: that war and the arms trade were wrong, that international disputes should be resolved with diplomacy and that we should build an economy based on peacemaking commerce. It was because I campaigned with other people to change the way our country conducted itself that I was picked out by Andy Coles. But also because I was a young woman.

Undercover policing is presented to the public as a crucial and maybe courageous way of gathering information on dangers to the national good, to our safety, to our lives. Was I that danger? Was I, with a commitment to nonviolence, with the good of humanity my core concern, a danger to the lives and safety of the public? Obviously not. But was I a threat to the values underpinning the British state – war and a military economy? Yes, apparently I was.

Andy Coles was tasked to infiltrate ARROW because we challenging militarist propaganda. The Metropolitan Police were attempting the shape, close down or manipulate the political discourse of citizens. This was not about protecting citizens from “violent extremists”, this was about undermining democracy.

It is not illegal to hold views, nor is it illegal to campaign on them, nor to hold demonstrations. It is not harmful to the public to engage in nonviolent actions. Articulating thoughts and engaging in discourse over differing opinions is what democracy is.

Andy Coles is presenting my legitimate public concern as violent extremism. This is untruthful and misleading.

Andy Coles has also failed to be truthful with the Peterborough Telegraph and with the Undercover Policing Inquiry about his year-long relationship with the animal rights activist “Jessica” in 1992. In 1991 he had made a move on me which I rebuffed. I now understand that establishing a sexual relationship with politically engaged women was a standard part of creating false identities for undercover police officers. This is a repellent and abusive invasion of the state into women’s lives and bodies.

Sack Andy Coles. He didn’t believe in democracy in 1991 and he doesn’t believe in democracy now.

– Emily Johns, 8th April 2018

2 thoughts on “Third Woman Sexually Targeted by Andy Coles Speaks Out

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