London, Jan 24 (ANI): A former agent has revealed that police in Britain used sex as a tool when gathering information during undercover operations and that tactical "promiscuity" was viewed as "part of the job".
According to the Observer, the officer, who worked in a special unit of the Met Police for four years, said sexual relationships with activists were common among those gathering intelligence from anarchist, left wing and environmental groups.
However his claims contradict comments made last week by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), which insisted the practice was forbidden.
But the former officer, once a member of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), a covert unit formed to prevent violent disorder on the streets of London, said sex helped to maintain cover.
He has admitted to sleeping with at least two of his female targets for information.
"Everybody knew it was a very promiscuous lifestyle. You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups. Otherwise you'll stand out straight away," Sky News quoted him as saying.
The unnamed officer claimed there was no set of instructions dictating whether officers could or could not have sex with activists.
Acpo spokesman Jon Murphy said sexual relationships for the purpose of intelligence gathering were "grossly unprofessional" and "absolutely not authorised".
"It is never acceptable for an undercover officer to behave in that way," he added. (ANI)