Oct 25 2013, 9:46am CDT | by IANS
London, Oct 25 — Britain's senior most police officer has said he is unsure if undercover officers are still not getting involved in sexual relationships with partners unfamiliar with their real identities.
Eleven women are taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police over claims that they were duped into relationships in the past with undercover officers and suffered emotional trauma after discovering the deception, The Guardian reported.
On Thursday, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said his force had guidelines that said police spies should not get involved in sexual relationships but that the rules could not prevent "human beings sometimes failing".
Under questioning from a London Assembly police and crime committee member, he said he could not be sure if officers had not continued to get involved in intimate relationships during his two years as commissioner.
"Our policy says it shouldn't, but can I be absolutely confident that it's never happened during my time as commissioner? I can't say that.
"I'm confident of that, but I cannot be absolutely sure that there has not been the odd digression, or that there won't be in the future. But I do know that there's less chance of it now than there was 20 years ago."
Police chiefs and ministers have given contradictory answers about whether undercover officers were authorised to form sexual relationships with people they had been sent to spy on.
The Guardian has published evidence hinting that undercover officers routinely started sexual relationships with political campaigners during an infiltration campaign that began in 1968.
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