Thursday, 14 November 2013

CUSU Statement On Film Of Police Surveillance

The Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU) is today responding to the release of a covert film apparently showing an undercover police officer launching a secret operation to spy on the political activities of students at the University of Cambridge. An officer monitoring political campaigners attempted to recruit an activist in his 20s to become an informant and apparently feed the police information about students and other protesters in return for money. Included in the informant's activities would be reporting to the Police on active campaigners in the Cambridge community and on peaceful demonstrations organised by a number of organisations led-by or involving students, including the students' union.

CUSU is the representative body of every student at the University of Cambridge. We support activists as actors of positive change, and we do so in collaboration with many other bodies, at times with our institution, the national student movement, and with the Police. As a registered charity, we are committed to providing excellent support and services to our members, campaigning on nationally important issues such as the cost of higher education and student welfare.

A statement on behalf of the students' union, CUSU, reads:

"We are alarmed by news of police surveillance on Cambridge student activists. CUSU believes that all individuals have the right to protest peacefully.

"CUSU has always constructively engaged with the police when planning or supporting protests and demonstrations. As such, CUSU finds it absurd that our members should be the focus of these investigations.

"Tactics such as these are not only intrusive, they also waste time targeting groups which are involved in making important and positive change in our society. We condemn the actions of the police in this matter and hope the Government will look critically at the use of surveillance measures by UK security forces."