A POLICE watchdog tasked with examining undercover policing in Scotland has admitted it did not look into the activities of a notorious officer who had sexual relationships with some of those he investigated.

Derek Penman, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland, said he did not think it “appropriate or necessary” to investigate the details of Mark Kennedy’s actions north of the border.

Mr Kennedy is one of five officers known to have had relationships with women while undercover, and spent years infiltrating protest groups for the Metropolitan Police.

A new report by Mr Penman found he had visited Scotland 17 times, with much his activity focusing on the G8 summit in Edinburgh in 2005.

But when questioned by MSPs scrutinising the report, Mr Penman said “We didn’t consider it appropriate or necessary to go in and look at the actual detail behind that. Our terms of reference were very much just about trying to get some high-level figures around the extent and scale.”

Mr Penman's report states Mr Kennedy carried out "multiple activities" during his visits to Scotland.

It said most of this related to maintaining and developing his covert identity through "hill walking, cycling and mountain climbing", adding: "These were not long-term deployments,

generally amounting to no more than a few days and over the course of his confirmed visits to Scotland his average stay was about a week.

"Apart from the G8 Summit, which was the main focus of his activity, we consider that there was no routine engagement with Scottish police forces and that the service would have been unsighted on his visits."

MSPs said there was “frustrations” around the scope of Mr Penman's report, with Neil Findlay MSP insisting the decision to focus solely on undercover policing post-2000 left a “major gap”. A UK Government inquiry covering England and Wales stretches back to 1968.

Mr Findlay said the Scottish report’s limited remit meant missing out key events such as the miner’s strike, adding: “The only people who do not have access to an inquiry are Scottish victims. That cannot be right.”

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson previously ruled out launching an inquiry in Scotland, insisting there was "insufficient" evidence to justify it. He has instead called for the UK probe to be extended north of the border.