5 Dec 2017

The Chairman of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, Sir John Mitting, is today publishing his Ruling on applications made for anonymity (PDF, 169KB) made in respect of 11 former officers in the Special Demonstration Squad. The Ruling follows a hearing on the applications on 20 and 21 November 2017.

The Chairman’s Ruling says he is planning to release the cover names of five former undercover officers. The Inquiry intends that the officers HN16, HN26, HN68, HN81 and HN330 (who did not seek a restriction of his cover name) will have their cover names published, starting in the New Year, subject to checks it needs to make. The Chairman has decided to restrict the real names of these officers.

In the same ruling the Chairman is restricting the real identities of (HN321) ‘William Paul Lewis’, (HN326) ‘Douglas Edwards’ and (HN329) ‘John Graham’.

Both the cover and the real names will be restricted for HN123 and HN333. There is no cover name known for HN294 and the Ruling states that the real name will be restricted.

All rulings on anonymity applications are made by following the legal principles established in May 2016; the detailed reasons for decisions made to restrict information from publication are found in the Ruling.

Next Steps

Following issues raised at the hearing on 20 and 21 November 2017, the Inquiry is awaiting further information from non-police, non-state core participants in the case of (HN297) ‘Rick Gibson’. The Inquiry is also today publishing the Chairman’s ruling designating a new core participant (PDF, 20KB) who came forward following the Inquiry publishing ‘Rick Gibson’ as a cover name.

There will be closed hearings to consider the restriction of the cover name of HN58 and the real name of (HN104) ‘Carlo Neri’. The Chairman will issue a ruling following these hearings.

The Inquiry remains keen to hear from witnesses who may have information about the officers named and would encourage people to get in touch by emailing [email protected], or by writing to us at PO Box 71230, London, NW1W 7QH.


The Inquiry’s website has a page dedicated to the anonymity applications of former Special Demonstration Squad officers.

The purpose of the Undercover Policing Inquiry is to investigate and report on undercover police operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces in England and Wales since 1968. The Inquiry will examine the contribution undercover policing has made to tackling crime, how it was and is supervised and regulated, and its effect on individuals involved – both police officers and others who came into contact with them.

The work of the Inquiry ranges across the full scope of undercover policing work and will look at the work of the Special Demonstration Squad, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit and police forces in England and Wales. The Inquiry will also examine whether people may have been wrongly convicted in cases involving undercover police officers, and refer any such cases to a separate panel for consideration. The work of the Inquiry will fall into three modules:

  1. Module one will look at what happened in the deployment of undercover officers in the past, their conduct, and the impact of their activities on themselves and others.
  2. Module two will look at the management and oversight of undercover officers, including their selection, training, supervision and care after the end of an undercover deployment. This section will also look at the law and other rules covering undercover policing.
  3. Module three will make recommendations about how undercover policing should be conducted in future



  1. At the hearing on 20 and 21 November 2017 non-police, non-state core participants stated that further evidence was available on HN297 ‘Rick Gibson’. The Chairman is awaiting that information and as such has not yet reached a decision on the anonymity application in respect of the real name.
  2. The Undercover Policing Inquiry is constituted under the Inquiries Act 2005 (PDF, 207KB).
  3. The Inquiry’s terms of reference were announced by the Home Secretary on 16 July 2015.
  4. The Inquiry’s Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 96KB) document provides more information on the Inquiry more generally, as do published update notes.
  5. The Inquiry’s website is www.ucpi.org.uk and the Inquiry can be found on Twitter @ucpinquiry

For further information please contact the Inquiry’s press officer, Jo Coles:
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 07827 818 460