Senior police leaders are set to make an unprecedented national apology after hundreds of names of dead children were used to create false identities for undercover officers.
An investigation into covert policing has found widespread use of the practice.
Undercover officers told The Times that they were trained to use names of the dead and it had become “standard practice”.
Special branch units used the names while infiltrating criminal gangs, animal rights activists and football hooligan firms, it is claimed.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, will be questioned about the method after it was revealed that officers were told to gather “dirt” on the family of Stephen Lawrence.
Sources say that the practice may have been used in MI5 and MI6 and that several thousand identities of dead infants, children and teenagers may have been assumed by undercover officers.
An apology will be made senior police in the coming days.