5 Jul 2018

The Inquiry is today publishing its ‘issues list’ for the Module One investigation of deployments of Special Demonstration Squad undercover officers, their conduct, and the impact of their activities on themselves and others. The issues list is accompanied by an explanatory note.

The Inquiry, like many other public inquiries, intends to use issues lists to direct and focus its investigation to enable it better to discharge its terms of reference. The lists will set out questions which are central to the Inquiry’s investigations.

This issues list is to inform Module One of the investigation, and follows on from the recent consultation, which proposed 109 questions for investigation. The consultation elicited responses from representatives of the non-police, non-state core participants, Peter Francis, the Metropolitan Police Service, and the Designated Lawyer team.

As a result of the responses to the consultation the issues list has been expanded to cover 158 questions, covering a range of issues which include: the establishment of the Special Demonstration Squad, targeting of groups, conduct while deployed, reporting on deployments, prevention and detection of crime, management oversight, withdrawal from and post deployment and the welfare of officers and their families.

The issues list is not set in stone and does not constrain the Inquiry from investigating any further issues that emerge as a result of evidence received in due course by the Inquiry from core participants. Individual core participants affected by a particular undercover deployment or deployments will be given an opportunity to propose further detailed issues for consideration in relation to those specific deployments. We currently anticipate that an appropriate time to do so will be when the core participant is approached for a witness statement. It is at this stage of the Inquiry’s proceedings that the core participant will be provided with the documents relating to the matters on which he or she can give evidence (subject to any restriction orders).

Informed by the Issues list, the Inquiry has commenced the process of seeking evidence from officers within the Special Demonstration Squad, in preparation for the evidential hearings that are scheduled to commence in June 2019.

Next steps

A separate issues list for investigations into the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (and other undercover units) for Module One will be published for consultation shortly. Module Two issues will follow for consultation in due course.

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. The Undercover Policing Inquiry is constituted under the Inquiries Act 2005.
  2. The Inquiry’s terms of reference were announced by the Home Secretary on 16 July 2015.
  3. The Inquiry’s Frequently Asked Questions document provides more information on the Inquiry more generally, as do its published update notes
  4. 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: press.queries@ucpi.org.uk

Tel: 07827 818 460