Confessions Of An Undercover Cop Review: Hippy Patrol

CONFESSIONS OF AN UNDERCOVER COP: Monday 14th November, C4, 9pm

Think you had a bad day at work? Think again. Mark Kennedy spent seven years of his life living a lie, “doing his jobâ€?. He now has no job, no family, no prospects and spends his days racked with guilt, despised by thousands of people the world over.

Does this ex-policeman deserve his lonely, meaningless existence? Or was he the victim of a corrupt and ruthless system? Last night BAFTA award-winning director Brian Hall attempt to shed new light on the rise and catastrophic fall of Mark Stone; The most famous active, non-existent activist the world has ever seen.

If you don’t remember the headlines, back in 2010 Kennedy was exposed as an undercover agent by political activists who had been friends with his activist alter-ego, Mark Stone. His sexual relations with a number of women, one in particular who he claimed to have fallen in love with and involvement with planning action gave rise to serious questions about the nature of undercover police work and how it is governed. Tracing his journey from aspiring young bobby to undercover expert and out the other side, this film does not shy away from asking difficult questions of its dejected subject.

“I had the best friendships you could ever have as a person who didn’t existâ€?, Kennedy confides, looking – as he so often does – on the edge of tears. It is difficult not to feel sorry for this man but the flipside, presented just as convincingly by the documentary, reveals his complicity with a system which worked to prevent people’s right to protest peacefully.

A fellow undercover officer slams Kennedy’s sexual conduct as an undercover policeman, branding it “wrong on every ethical and moral levelâ€?. But why did supervising officers choose not to intervene when things got fruity? A huge web of lies, deceit and corruption lying right at the top of police power is intimated by Kennedy and his fellow interviewees and makes for overwhelming viewing at times. Kennedy was eventually exposed following a potentially botched, potentially sabotaged operation in 2009 where 26 of his fellow comrades were charged and he got off scot-free.

Hall allows viewers to draw their own conclusions about Kennedy and his heroic/deplorable behaviour as an undercover cop. The answers provided may or may not have helped you decide which side of the fence you are on but one thing is clear; Confessions of an Undercover Cop did not shy away from asking the big questions.