This will likely be very bad for the London Metropolitan Police [from the NY Times]
According to The Guardian, Mr. Brake “says he was informed by people in the crowd that the men had been seen to throw bottles at the police and had encouraged others to do the same shortly before they passed through the cordon.” Mr. Brake told The Guardian:
“When I was in the middle of the crowd, two people came over to me and said, ‘There are people over there who we believe are policemen and who have been encouraging the crowd to throw things at the police,’” Brake said. But when the crowd became suspicious of the men and accused them of being police officers, the pair approached the police line and passed through after showing some form of identification.
I’m not going to speculate on the validity of these accusations, but I will say that if this is indeed the case, then there are some serious reviews needed (internally and externally).
For the record:
The Guardian reports that a spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police denied the accusations, saying: “We would never deploy officers in this way or condone such behavior.” The Guardian also notes that Britain’s Independent Police Complaints Commission “has received 256 complaints relating to the G20 protests,” but has “no record of complaints involving the use of police agents provocateurs.”