How Far Can Undercover Cops Go?

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How Far Can Undercover Cops Go?

Undercover cops exist to infiltrate illegal or potentially illegal organizations, find out what’s going on and then arrest those people – after some years, of course. But how far can these undercover cops go? Well, in some cases, the answer is – too far.

How Far Can Undercover Cops Go?
How Far Can Undercover Cops Go?

Bob Lambert was a former undercover police officer in the UK tasked with gathering information about a group of potentially dangerous animal rights activists back in 1985. He was part of a controversial and secret organization of the Metropolitan Police called Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). The organization was formed back in 1968 as a response to some angry protests linked to the Vietnam War. In operation up until 2008, it infiltrated a large number of political activist groups since its inception. The operation was highly secretive, even within Scotland Yard itself, and only a select few knew what was really going on. This complete secrecy lasted until 2010 when Peter Francis, the former undercover officer, blew the whistle on the operation’s activities, and the whole thing was flung into the spotlight.

Bob Lambert, known as Bob Robinson during his two-year-long undercover mission, gathered information about members of the Animal Liberation Front. These activists were responsible for several arsons against fur and meat companies. As a result of Lambert’s investigation, two members of the Animal Liberation Front were sent to jail. But after his identity was made public in 2011, however, it was alleged that Lambert was, in fact, a direct contributor in the planning and execution of one of the fires. It is believed that Lambert was actually the one who placed the incendiary device in one of the stores which resulted in damages worth up to £300,000. This information was kept a secret during the trial of the two activists.

Bob Lambert today. image via libcom.org

Furthermore, Bob Lambert formed a romantic relationship whit one female activist at the time. And even though he was married and already had two children, Bob “Robinson” Lambert had another child with the 22-year-old girl. But not long after their son’s birth, he abandoned them both, claiming that he had to flee abroad in order to escape prosecution. Only decades later, when the SDS became public, did the woman learn the true identity of her son’s father.

Bob Lambert and his son. – image via bbc.com

She then received £425,000 from the Metropolitan Police in compensation. In the SDS scandal, it was revealed that Lambert had three other romantic relationships with various women. Up until his identity was revealed, Bob Lambert was a part-time lecturer at three prestigious universities in England, teaching students about terrorism, counter-terrorism, far-right political violence, and anti-Muslim hate crimes. He then resigned these posts.