28 Mar 2018

The Chairman, Sir John Mitting, is today issuing a ruling in respect of the 12 officers who were the subject of a hearing on 21 March 2018, a ‘minded to’ note in respect of 1 former Special Demonstration Squad officer and an updated explanatory note.

The ruling, and its accompanying ‘minded to’ note, bring the total number of decisions, final or provisional, made on Special Demonstration Squad officers to 85. There have been 32 cases where no applications have been made, of which three will mean the publication of real and cover names, and 29 will result in real names being published because there are no cover names.

Of the 128 officers considered in the anonymity process to date, 92 of the 128 officers will have real name, cover name or both made public subject to responses to the minded to decisions. In 18 cases, real and cover name will be restricted. In 7 cases no cover name is yet known (these names may be published if they become known) and the real name will be restricted. In 11 cases further information is required.

In respect of today’s ruling:

  • the real names of four former officers will be restricted. However the Inquiry has already published their cover names (HN301 ‘Bob Stubbs’, HN336 ‘Dick Epps’, HN343 ‘John Clinton’ and HN347 ‘Alex Sloan’)
  • the real and cover names of eight former officers, HN 17, HN41 , HN64, HN71 , HN109, HN125, HN337 and HN341 will be restricted

The Inquiry’s overriding priority is to get to the truth. The Inquiry’s approach is to ensure that where evidence can be considered in an open hearing, this will happen. In the Ruling the Chairman states that while HN41 and HN337 have restriction orders over their real and cover names, where they have open evidence to give, this will happen at a public hearing under a cypher and with appropriate protections in place.

The ‘minded to’ note states that there is no application to restrict the cover name of HN 155. This will be published once the Inquiry has completed its own pre-publication checks. Once the cover name is published, the application, and if necessary the supporting evidence, will be published and directions set for responding to this ‘minded to’ note.

The next open hearing on restriction orders for Special Demonstration Squad officers is on 9 May 2018, with a further hearing on 12 July 2018. The Inquiry expects to have concluded hearing the majority of the restriction order applications from members of the Special Demonstration Squad by the end of July and expects to receive in the region of 45 further applications in respect of the Special Demonstration Squad.

Background

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 Inquiry’s investigations are broken down into modules. The descriptions of modules Two and Three have been amended to spell out more clearly the Inquiry’s investigative intentions.

One

Examination of the deployment of undercover officers in the past, their conduct, and the impact of their activities on themselves and others.

Two

Examination of the management and oversight of undercover officers, including their selection, training, supervision, care after the end of an undercover deployment and the legal and regulatory framework within which undercover policing is carried out. Module Two (a) will involve managers and administrators from within undercover policing units. Module Two (b) will involve senior managers higher in the chain of command as well as police personnel who handled intelligence provided by undercover police officers. Module Two (c) will involve a number of other government bodies with a connection to undercover policing, including the Home Office.

Three

Examination of current undercover policing practices and of how undercover policing should be conducted in future.

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. Decisions on anonymity applications are taken in line with the 3 May 2016 Legal Principles and Approach Ruling.
  2. The Undercover Policing Inquiry is constituted under the Inquiries Act 2005
  3. The Inquiry’s terms of reference were announced by the Home Secretary on 16 July 2015
  4. The Inquiry’s Frequently Asked Questions document provides more information on the Inquiry more generally, as do its published update notes
  5. The Inquiry’s website is www.ucpi.orq.uk and the Inquiry can be found on Twitter @ucpinquiry. 

 For further information please contact the Inquiry’s Head of Communications, Jo Coles:

 Email: press.queries@ucpi.org.uk

 Tel: 07827 818 460