Grossbritannien: Anquatschversuch des Staatsschutzes auf Band aufgenommen


Police try to recruit Matilda 'Tilly' Gifford, an environmental campaigner with the direct action group Plane Stupid, as an informant. (Dreiteiliger Artikel mit Audiofiles)
part 1: Partick police station, Glasgow, 25 March 2009


Officer 1: "See as we said to you earlier, if we could find some way that we could work together – in a sort of a job."

Officer 1: "Or does that bore you?"


Officer 1: "... for a coffee or something? I don't expect people to work for nothing."

Tilly: "Mmm hmm. And what kind of money would you be talking?"

Officer 1: "Are you still recording?"

Tilly: "Quite possibly. I don't know I haven't looked. It only had half an hour and it's been way past half an hour. Yeah well what kind of money would you be talking?"

Officer 2: "Well we don't discuss money frankly, we don't talk salaries"

Tilly: "Well what do you talk then? You talk coffees?"

Officer 2: "Well let's just say if you were prepared to to meet us, and talk to us, we may be in a position to help you out financially."

Tilly: "But you won't go into how much or anything like that."

Officer 2: "But it's your decision. We can't force you to it, you're free to walk away at any time, you're free to walk away at any other time.

Tilly: "Obviously like 20 or 50 quid isn't going to sort out my problems."

Officer 2: "Sorry?"

Tilly: "Obviously 20 quid, 50 quid isn't going to sort out my problems."

[Inaudible chatter]

Officer 2: "Tilly, we are not concerned about Plane Stupid. We are not concerned about Plane Stupid. We are concerned about individuals within Plane Stupid. That's where the difference is."

Tilly: "Tell me which ones I should look out for, if you're so worried about it."

Officer 1: "Look at the big picture – we work with hundreds of people, believe me, ranging from terrorist organisations right through to whatever. To the others as we like to call them. Environmentalists. We have people who give us information on environmentalism, leftwing extremism, rightwing - you name it, we have the whole spectrum of reporting. The point we're making is: they come to us with the concerns, because within the organisations for which they have strong ideologies and beliefs they are happy to go along with that, but what they will not get involved in is maybe where it's gonna impact someone else. That's when they come to us and say 'by the way, so and so – in my opinion – is maybe getting a wee bit too hotheaded."


part 2: Morrisons supermarket car park, Anniesland, Glasgow, 21 April 2009

Tilly: "I suppose before even like considering meeting you again, I would really like to have an idea of what - if it does mean, you know, twenty quid?

Officer 1: "Rather than discuss an actual figure, can I say to you ..."

Tilly: "Tell me what's happened in the past?"


Officer 2: "UK plc can afford more than twenty quid."

Tilly: "What is UK plc?" [...]

Tilly: "I suppose to me it's quite a kind of multiple personalities [inaudible] exercise – I'd be meeting you guys, I'd be involved in my activities and I think [...]"

Tilly: "To get an idea of whether I would want to meet with you again, it would be really useful to know in the past what's happened."

Officer 1: "We have men, women, who are now, yeah – right now – doing their work, their daily work. They go about their work day in day out. They then go home to their families. They go home to husbands, wives, children. We are way, way down. That would be exactly the same with you. You would still have your life, Tilly. You go about your life as you do every day - we would be sitting somewhere way down here. But when you would be going to the meetings that you would be going to anyway, we would maybe be meeting you about once every two weeks, once every three weeks, once every week maybe. [Inaudible.] That's the type of thing. Likewise, the thousands of other people that work with us [inaudible] they're at their works now, be it joiners ..."


Tilly: "I see that, yeah."


Officer 2: "It's none of this cloak-and-dagger stuff. The simple fact is you can say it's not for you. You walk away, we walk away. You'll never see us again."

Tilly: "I suppose gauging [...] what kind of money we might be speaking [...] loan and back at school [...]

Officer 1: "Can I say something to you? You see exactly what you've said there? At least you're thinking logically. If you're going back you school you're going to have loans to pay off. So you're going to need money, you'll still be out probably working doing bits but wouldn't it also be nice to have tax-free - money you'd be getting. You wouldn't pay any tax on it. So you could do with it what you want."

Tilly: "And how would it be paid - directly into a bank account?"

Officer 2: "You can get it however you want. Cash in hand. Whatever you want."

Officer 1: "What you choose to do with that ... Can I tell you Tilly, we actually have people working, who actually take the money and they give it to charity, because what they're doing is moral, they're doing it for a moral reason. So they give the money to, maybe Cancer Research, Save the Whale, whatever. Other people use it because believe it or not they actually need it. Because their own jobs aren't well paid."

Officer 2: "Don't pay it into a bank account Tilly, because that leaves an audit trail - and an audit trail can compromise you. You just get it in your hand. You don't want to take cash in hand?"

Tilly: "And what kind of figures are you paying other people?"

Officer 1: "Oh you'd be surprised Tilly."

Officer 2: "Years gone by people have been paid tens of thousands of pounds."

Tilly: "Yeah that's not anything I think Plane Stupid is worth. That's not what we're talking is it? Obviously."

Officer 2: "You've got to justify it in your own mind. We can't make that decision for you."


Officer 1: "Can I – we're coming near to where we need to drop you off Tilly. Can we give you a week to just get your head together so this hasn't freaked you out too much?"

Officer 1: "I'd like to sit down and discuss it with you, if you want, we'll go through the contractual obligations if you want to, the work. And, yeah financially – yeah why not."

Tilly: "Yeah and just having a ballpark figure would influence my decision within a week."

Officer 1: "Can I ask you, Tilly then – just to bounce it back to you. Give me the ballpark figure you would consider."

Tilly: "I've got no idea what ..."

Officer 1: "You don't have an idea? Say on a monthly basis. On a monthly basis what would you be prepared [...] to – at least help me out."

Tilly: "I don't know, I really don't know. I don't know what this kind of thing is worth."

Officer 1: "OK so let us go away and make a few [inaudible] and we can both sit down maybe in a week or so – and you can maybe have an idea of a ballpark figure."

Tilly: [...] "I'm going back to France to see my parents."

Officer 1: "When do you go back? When do you go?"

Tilly: "Probably going to head off next Wednesday."


Officer 1: "Can we meet up before you go?"


[They talk about when to meet]

Tilly: "At the moment it would be really interesting knowing what kind of money we're talking. At the moment you haven't ... We've gone from 'not twenty quid' to some people get ten thousand."

Officer 1: "A lot of people edge around about that, but that's what they mean. So you're quite right to come and ask that question. We don't feel any less, or think any less of you for asking that. Because if I'm doing a job of work, I expect to be paid. And likewise."

Tilly: "And even just knowing what, monetarily, what this information is kind of worth ..."

Officer 2: "It depends on the information." [...]


part 3: Telephone call, 23 April 2009

Tilly: "Before I meet you [name removed] like the lawyer, yeah the lawyer has been looking into your name in relation to Strathclyde police, and they've come back and said that your name isn't on any like Strathclyde police data. And I'm really up for meeting up again but I would really like to know who you are, like as in who you work for. They say you're not part of Strathclyde police, and you could be working for the airport or something for all I know."

Officer 1: "Listen pal. You're more than welcome to phone us back here. You can ring Strathclyde police and I'll give you our extension and they'll put you through to it if you want."

Tilly: "Yeah so what do you do within Strathclyde police? And why is your name not on any other files?"

Officer 1: "Because you'll probably find that the department we work for, a lot of our names aren't held on their main computer switchboard. If you ring any Strathclyde police office I'll give you our extension and they'll put you through to it."

Tilly: "Yeah. So what's the name of your department then? How does that work?"

Officer 1: "We work for the community – what have we changed our name to now - intelligence section."

Tilly: "You should know your name. Come on: you work for the community intelligence section yeah?"

Officer 1: "I'll explain it to you at half ten."

Tilly: "Okay, my feelings are really ... is that, you know how much I care about climate change. I think Plane Stupid's work is so important."

Officer 1: "Tilly – just pal, listen. What did you mean a lawyer? What lawyer was it you got asking for you?"

Tilly: "It's my lawyer, and he's super on the case."

Officer 1: "Oh your lawyer. Oh right OK."

Tilly: "And he works with us on other stuff. But I mean you know how I feel about climate change."

Officer 1: "I know that, I know that."

Tilly: "I think Plane Stupid's work is so important. I just wouldn't want to do anything to compromise that. And I know that everyone in the movement is really committed to non-violence, so ... I don't know why we're having this kind of ... why the police is so interested in us."

Officer 1: "Calm down. Listen, calm down and we'll get to it at half ten."

Tilly: "I think if you could give me a few clarifications before I meet you and then I'll be game."

Officer 1: "Let me clarify one of your concerns, right. Myself, and [name removed], who you've met, are both police officers. We're in possession of police warrant cards which we'll gladly show you – if you wish – which will hopefully alleviate any concerns you have."

Tilly: "Yeah."

Officer 1: "All right? Really, I don't ... As I said to you Tilly, we don't work on anything other than trust and honesty. So I'm not going to lie to you. We are not anybody else. We are simply Strathclyde police officers."

Tilly: "You are simply Strathclyde police officers."

Officer 1: "We have warrant cards which will confirm that. All right so please take that out of your head."


Zeige Kommentare: ausgeklappt | moderiert

Police caught on tape trying to recruit Plane Stupid protester as spy


Climate change activist taped men who offered cash for information about group's members and activities


Undercover police are running a network of hundreds of informants inside protest organisations who secretly feed them intelligence in return for cash, according to evidence handed to the Guardian.

They claim to have infiltrated a number of environmental groups and said they are receiving information about leaders, tactics and plans of future demonstrations.

The dramatic disclosures are revealed in almost three hours of secretly recorded discussions between covert officers claiming to be from Strathclyde police, and an activist from the protest group Plane Stupid, whom the officers attempted to recruit as a paid spy after she had been released on bail following a demonstration at Aberdeen airport last month.

Matilda Gifford, 24, said she recorded the meetings in an attempt to expose how police seek to disrupt the legitimate activities of climate change activists. She met the officers twice; they said they were a detective constable and his assistant. During the taped discussions, the officers:

• Indicate that she could receive tens of thousands of pounds to pay off her student loans in return for information about individuals within Plane Stupid.

• Say they will not pay money direct into her bank account because that would leave an audit trail that would leave her compromised. They said the money would be tax-free, and added: "UK plc can afford more than 20 quid."

• Accept that she is a legitimate protester, but warn her that her activity could mean she will struggle to find employment in the future and result in a criminal record.

• Claim they have hundreds of informants feeding them information from protest organisations and "big groupings" from across the political spectrum.

• Explain that spying could assist her if she was arrested. "People would sell their soul to the devil," an officer said.

• Warn her that she could be jailed alongside "hard, evil" people if she received a custodial sentence.

The meetings took place in a Glasgow police station last month and in a supermarket cafe on Tuesday. Gifford used a mobile phone and device sewn into her waistcoat to record what they described as a "business proposal" that she should think of as a job.

They intimated that in return for updates on Plane Stupid's plans she could receive large sums of money in cash.

When lawyers acting for Plane Stupid contacted Strathclyde police this week to establish the identities of the detective constable, they were initially told by the human resources department there was no record of his name.

But when the Guardian contacted the force, they acknowledged officers had had meetings with Plane Stupid activists.

In a statement last night, assistant chief constable George Hamilton said the force had "a responsibility to gather intelligence", and such operations were conducted according to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). The force would not comment on the identity of the officers.

"Officers from Strathclyde police have been in contact with a number of protesters who were involved with the Plane Stupid protests including Aberdeen airport," he said. "The purpose of this contact has been to ensure that any future protest activity is carried out within the law and in a manner which respects the rights of all concerned."

Gifford's lawyer, Patrick Campbell, said: "I have very considerable concerns about these events. There appears to be a covert operation that is running in some way with, or using, Strathclyde police's name. There appears to be a concerted effort to turn protesters to informants and possibly infiltrate peaceful protest movements.

He added: "The methods employed are disturbing, and more worrying yet is the lack of any clearly identifiable body responsible for this. These individuals seem to have some kind of police support or at the very least connections with the police – the access to police stations confirms that – but my concern is the lack of accountability and the threat to the individual and her right to protest."

Gifford intended to meet the officers for a third time on Thursday, taking a lawyer with her. But the officers did not appear at the rendezvous. However, she said she was later approached by the detective constable, who said he was disappointed in her. The man got into a car, leaving Gifford feeling shaken and intimidated.

She said last night that the initial approach from the officers was "an opportunity that fell out of the sky". She added: "Recording them seemed like the obvious thing to do. I was keen to find out what they had to offer, what they wanted to find out, and feed that back to the group in case other members of Plane Stupid were approached."

In a statement, Plane Stupid said: "Our civil liberties were invaded and our right to peaceful protest called into question simply to defend the interests of big business."