20 Feb 2018

The Chairman of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, Sir John Mitting, is today publishing his Ruling on anonymity applications made in respect of eight former Special Demonstration Squad (PDF, 269KB) officers. This ruling follows the hearing on these officers held on 5 February 2018.

The Chairman has decided that the real name of HN127 will not be restricted. HN127 was a cover officer who, among other responsibilities, was the recipient of information provided by other officers about the Stephen Lawrence campaign. The Chairman will not restrict the real name of HN297, ‘Rick Gibson’, who is a deceased officer, unless he receives evidence from the officer’s surviving family members that persuade him to change his mind by 8 March 2018.

Both cover and real names will be restricted for HN23, HN40, HN58 and HN241.No formal cover names have been identified for HN322 and HN348, and their activities and relevance to the Undercover Policing Inquiry appear to be limited; their real names will be restricted.

All rulings on anonymity applications are made by following the legal principles (PDF, 583KB) established in May 2016; the detailed reasons for decisions in respect of the above officers are found in the Ruling.

Next steps

Cover names will be added to the Inquiry’s website as and when they have completed the necessary checks to enable publication. Real names that are not subject to restriction orders will appear in documents in an un-redacted form when the documents in which they appear are published.

Later this week the Inquiry will publish a statement from the Chairman; this follows the consultation on the proposed changes to the process (PDF, 331KB) for the publication of documents that support restriction order applications, and the subsequent hearing on the matter on 5 February 2018.


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. Draft transcripts of the 5 February 2018 hearing (PDF, 514KB)
  2. Legal principles Ruling May 2016 (PDF, 583KB)
  3. The current process for determining anonymity applications (PDF, 139KB)
  4. The Chairman’s 20 November 2017 statement (PDF, 375KB)
  5. The Undercover Policing Inquiry is constituted under the Inquiries Act 2005 (PDF, 207KB)
  6. The Inquiry’s terms of reference were announced by the Home Secretary on 16 July 2015.
  7. The Inquiry’s Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 96KB) document provides more information on the Inquiry more generally, as do published update notes.
  8. 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