UP to five undercover police officers deployed to spy on protest groups operated north of the border, the Sunday Herald can reveal.

Three former officers working for secret police units in England infiltrated campaign groups at the G8 in Gleneagles and others are believed to have been paid to go on holiday with their unsuspecting lovers - who knew nothing of their secret police role - in Scotland.

It has also emerged that local police forces were supposed to have been told about the undercover activities in their area at the time.

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The revelations have fuelled calls for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to launch an inquiry into covert policing.

It has emerged in recent years that two elite Units south of the border – the Met’s Special Demonstration Squad and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) – had been embedding undercover officers into campaign groups.

The so-called 'spy cops' mostly infiltrated left-wing groups and fed back information to their police chiefs.

Some of the officers started sexual relationships with female protestors and even fathered children.

The victims have been awarded compensation and Home Secretary Theresa May tasked Lord Justice Pitchford with investigating undercover police activities.

However, the Pitchford Inquiry only applies to England and Wales and excludes any covert practices in Scotland.

As revealed by the Sunday Herald last week, notorious undercover officer Mark Kennedy was the “transport coordinator” for protest groups at the global summit at Gleneagles in 2005.

It has now emerged that four other officers carried out secret duties in Scotland.

Lynn Watson was unmasked after posing as an environmentalist for around five years from 2003. She operated at a social centre in Leeds called the Common Place, Aldermaston women’s peace camp and worked for a group providing first aid to demonstrators.

As part of her cover story, she is believed to have said her parents came from Glasgow. A source close to the G8 protest groups told this newspaper she was also part of the medics’ team who aided campaigners at Gleneagles.

Mark “Marco” Jacobs, another former undercover officer whose real name is not known, was part of the Dissent! network at the G8 and is alleged to have had a sexual relationship with at least one women.

Insiders say Jacobs, whose cover story was that he was a gardener and lorry driver, is said to have helped transport campaigners from England to the G8.

John Barker – real name John Dines – is believed to have holidayed in Scotland in the 1990s with his girlfriend in the protest movement.

A source also said Mark Cassidy – real name Mark Jenner - who targeted trade unions, spent time north of the border.

HeraldScotland: MSP Neil Findlay

Picture: Neil Findlay MSP has led calls for a Scottish inquiry into undercover policing

According to a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary from 2012, although Kennedy worked for a national unit his undercover activities were authorised by senior officers “from the police force that covered the particular local area in which he was working”.

Lois Austin, who is part of Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, said there is ample evidence to merit a Scottish inquiry.

"A dozen officers from these disgraced units have been exposed, and five of them worked in Scotland. If the English victims of the political secret police deserve justice, so do the Scots. The Scottish government should be demanding inclusion in Pitchford. If they don't trust the UK government inquiry - or if it continues to slam the door in their face - then Scotland must surely have their own public inquiry."

Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “Here is yet more evidence of undercover police operations in Scotland. There are fundamental issues of trust at stake here: we have an inquiry into these matters in England and Wales, yet Nicola Sturgeon has denied the same for Scots affected. This is wrong and we need a full Scottish inquiry."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Office of Surveillance Commissioners has never raised an issue, either directly with Scottish Ministers or through Police Scotland, regarding any allegations relating to the activity of undercover officers and there are already strong safeguards are in place regarding these practices in Scotland.

“We will, however, carefully consider the conclusions of the Pitchford Inquiry and, if there are measures over and above these safeguards which could sensibly be delivered in Scotland, we will discuss with Police Scotland and other interested parties how they might best be implemented.”