Bernard Hogan-HoweMetropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has offered a broad apology for the use of dead children’s identities by undercover officers.

Speaking at a press briefing taking place at New Scotland Yard to coincide with the publication of Operation Herne Report 1, he said: “I know people have been shocked, upset and even angered by what they’ve read and heard, and as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, I have a duty to account for what our predecessors have done when faced with serious challenges.

“I believe the public do understand the necessity for police and others to do things like this to protect against a much greater harm. It was never intended or foreseen that any of the identities used would become public, or that any family would suffer hurt as a result. At the time this method of creating identities was in use, officers felt this was the safest option.

“I absolutely agree that the Metropolitan Police should apologise for the shock and offence the use of this tactic has caused. My officers have this morning passed on that apology directly to one family, which has been told its child’s identity may have been used, and fourteen families who have contacted us to ask whether this may have happened.”

The new document is part of an on-going investigation into undercover policing practices, led by Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon. The report reveals that, more-than-likely, the identities of at least 42 dead children were used by officers in two Met specialist units - a practice dating from the mid-70s to as recently as 2003.

To read the full report, click here: