23 May 2018

The Chairman, Sir John Mitting, Chairman of the Undercover Policing Inquiry is today issuing a ‘minded to’ note in respect of 15 former Special Demonstration Squad officers. A final ruling is also issued in respect of one officer.

The Chairman is minded to:

  • restrict the publication of the real and cover names of nine officers: HN6, HN21, HN28, HN53, HN76, HN86, HN87, HN101 and HN102. As usual, unless the Chairman has directed or directs that they will give all their evidence in a closed hearing for reasons of safety, these officers will give as much evidence as possible publicly in their cypher.
  • refuse the application for a restriction order in respect of the real name of one officer HN59.
  • restrict HN122’s real name. The Chairman also makes a final ruling refusing to restrict HN122’s cover name, which will be published once the Inquiry has completed its own pre-publication checks.

Further information is required for HN91 and no decision has yet been reached in respect of the real name of HN344, but any cover names will be published.

There is no application in respect of HN32 and the application in respect of HN113 is withdrawn so this will lead to the publication of their real names.

The Inquiry’s strategic review makes clear that an officer or manager asked to give open evidence will either be asked to give their evidence in their cover name or, where not the subject of a restriction order, in in their real name. In some instances, even where officers or managers who have been granted a restriction order they will be expected to provide evidence under a cypher.

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 145 officers to have been included in the anonymity process as at the end of April 2018.

This ‘minded to’ note and ruling, brings the total number of decisions, final or provisional, made on Special Demonstration Squad officers to 103. 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 145 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 32 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 6 cases further information is required

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: 07827818460