Derbyshire police boss takes control of probe into undercover cops
DERBYSHIRE'S top cop has been tasked with investigating allegations that undercover officers assumed dead babies' identities.
Chief Constable Mick Creedon will take over the handling of Operation Herne, which is looking into the claims made against undercover police in the Met's Special Demonstration Squad.
Officers are believed to have authorised passports in the names of deceased children and used their identities for up to 10 years to infiltrate protest groups.
The families of the children – up to 80 – were allegedly never informed or consulted as to what was going on.
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The SDS was disbanded in 2008. However, the alleged practice only came to light after an investigation by The Guardian newspaper.
Until yesterday, Operation Herne was led by the Met's deputy assistant commissioner, Patricia Gallan.
But it was announced yesterday that Mr Creedon would be taking over from Ms Gallan.
Home Secretary Theresa May told MPs in the Commons: "Given the seriousness of the latest allegations, the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, and the chair of the IPCC, Dame Anne Owers, have agreed that it would be appropriate for a senior figure from outside the Metropolitan Police to take over the leadership of this investigation.
"Chief Constable Mick Creedon of Derbyshire police has agreed to take on the leadership of that investigation.
"He brings to the case many years' experience as a detective and has led several major investigations, including police corruption cases and reviews into investigations by other forces, such as the Rhys Jones murder in Merseyside in 2007."
The investigation will be under the direction and control of Mr Creedon but will remain under the supervision of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Operation Herne began in October 2011 following claims that officers in the unit were having serious sexual relationships with women they were spying on.
Currently, 11 women are suing the Met, claiming they formed long-term relationships with officers.
The inquiry has already cost £1.2 million and had 20 police officers and 11 staff searching through more than 50,000 documents.
Mr Creedon began his career at the age of 22 after graduating from the University of Manchester.
He spent the majority of his service working as a detective and rose to head the specialist crime department before moving to Derbyshire Constabulary in 2003 as Assistant Chief Constable.
He took over as the head of the force in October 2007
Mr Creedon is currently choosing a team to work with him on the inquiry, which it is anticipated will take a significant amount of time.