'Disabled activists have demanded an inquiry after a police force that has patrolled four Conservative party conferences since 2010 admitted sharing information about protesters with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has now become the second police force to admit sharing information about people taking part in protests with DWP, following a similar admission by Lancashire police.
But GMP has also admitted having a “sharing agreement” with DWP, even though the department explicitly stated two months ago that it had no such arrangements with any police force.
The admissions have followed claims reported by Disability News Service (DNS) that police forces have been targeting disabled protesters taking part in peaceful anti-fracking protests across England.
Lancashire police then admitted in December that it had shared both information and video footage of disabled anti-fracking protesters with DWP, in an apparent attempt to have their disability benefits removed.
Last month, DWP refused to say – in response to a DNS freedom of information request – which police forces had passed it information about claimants of disability benefits who have taken part in anti-fracking and anti-austerity protests.
But Greater Manchester Police has now told DNS that it passed DWP information – but not video footage – about protesters taking part in the anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss, Salford.
Those protests took place in 2013 and 2014, but the force also confirmed that it has shared information with DWP from protests not connected with fracking.'
Read more: Tory conference police force admits sharing information on protesters with DWP
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