26 Apr 2018

The Inquiry Chairman, Sir John Mitting, is today issuing a ‘Minded to’ note in respect of 16 former Special Demonstration Squad officers.

The Chairman is minded to:

  • grant a restriction order over the real names of three officers: HN20, HN303 and HN351. There is no application for restriction of cover names and these will be published after the Inquiry has completed its usual pre publication checks
  • grant a restriction order over the real and cover names of five officers: HN8, HN9, HN27, HN72 and HN355.
  • refuse to make a restriction over the real name of HN24, who was a cover officer.
  • refuse to restrict the real name of HN95. The cover name will be published.

Further information is required before the Chairman can determine the applications on behalf of HN113 and HN344.

There will be a closed hearing to permit representations to be made in respect of HN135.

No applications were made in respect of HN308, HN311 and HN358 who were either managers or back office staff, who did not use a cover name. Their names will be published when the evidence relating to them is published.

Today’s note is accompanied by a direction in respect of closed hearings and an explanatory note, updated by the Inquiry’s counsel detailing the current status of all 138 officers to have been included in the anonymity process as at the end of March 2018.
This ‘Minded to’ note brings the total number of decisions, final or provisional, made on Special Demonstration Squad officers to 95. There have been 35 cases where no applications have been made, of which three will mean the publication of real and cover names, and 32 will result in real names being published because there are no cover names.

Of the 138 officers considered in the anonymity process to date, 99 officers will have real name, cover name or both made public subject to responses to the ‘Minded to’ decisions. In 23 cases, real and cover name will be restricted. In 6 cases, no cover name is yet known (these names may be published if they become known) and the real name will be restricted. In eight cases further information is required.
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. Open material for the 9 May 2018 hearing was published on 17 April 2018 with a direction to respond by 4pm on 4 May 2018.

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