It's these long term committed relationships that have been perhaps the most shocking aspect of the undercover policing scandal. Officers used their training to get not just the political trust but the deepest emotional attachment of people on an entirely fraudulent basis, weaving themselves deeply into lives and families. The person targetted will open themselves up as much as they ever have, share their innermost selves, foresee an indefinite future together, perhaps have children (a quarter of the exposed officers fathered children with women they spied on).
Put simply and without fear of exaggeration, it is the most complete invasion of privacy possible, the most complete intrusion into a citizen's life that the state could enact.
Then, without any warning, the superiors decide the mission is over and the officers disappear, leaving these women robbed of years of their lives and unable to trust others or even their own judgement any more.
Not only is this all morally abhorrent, but according to Jon Murphy of the Association of Chief Police Officers it is completely against the rules to even have sex with the people targetted.
It is absolutely not authorised. It is never acceptable for an undercover officer to behave in that way...
It is grossly unprofessional. It is a diversion from what they are there to do. It is morally wrong because people have been put there to do a particular task and people have got trust in them. It is never acceptable under any circumstances... for them to engage in sex with any subject they come into contact with.
The HMIC report into the Mark Kennedy case, even though it's the police investigating themselves, unequivocally concedes that Kennedy was guilty of 'disproportionate intrusion' into people's lives. With the exception of the longevity of his relationships, there appears to be nothing Kennedy did that wasn't also done by Lambert.
In some respects Lambert went further than Kennedy, siring a child and having major relationships outside activist circles, undermining the justice system by being prosecuted under his false identity. Lambert was later in charge of putting undercover officers into those same protest groups, as well as undermining justice campaigns like that of Stephen Lawrence's family.
Just after he left the police force, in June 2008, Bob Lambert was given an MBE 'for services to the Police'.
Fred Goodwin was knighted for his services to banking but crashed RBS and, as that meant he had flushed away huge sums of public money and in fact done gross disservice to banking, he was stripped of his knighthood.
What does it take to get Bob Lambert - who spent his police service not only acting grossly unprofessionally but did so repeatedly; ran the operations of others who did the same; who is guilty of the most profound intrusion into citizens' lives; whose actions obstructed justice by several avenues; and all of it at huge public expense - to be stripped of his MBE for services to the police?