13 Sep 2018

Sir John Mitting, Chairman of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, is ‘minded to’ publish the cover name of a former Special Demonstration Squad officer, known by the code name HN299/342.

However, in a note published on the Inquiry website, the Chairman has stated his intention to make a restriction order which would mean that the former officer’s real name cannot be published.

Minded to notes are intended to give an indication of a likely decision the Chairman will make in respect to restriction orders. They allow interested groups to make representations in support or against the decision.

A final recommendation will be made in due course.

Alongside this a new explanatory note has been published detailing the status of applications for restrictions over the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and Special Demonstration squad.

Anonymity decisions so far

This ‘minded to’ note, brings the total number of decisions, final or provisional, made on Special Demonstration Squad officers to 111.

Of the 163 officers considered in the anonymity process to date:

  • 49 officers have not made an application for restriction orders. They will not have their real and/or cover names restricted.
  • 116 officers have made applications for restriction orders but will have their real name or cover name (or both) made public, subject to responses to the ‘Minded to’ decision.
  • In 36 cases, real and cover name will be restricted.

An officer or manager asked to give open evidence in hearings will either be asked to give their evidence in their cover name or, where not the subject of a restriction order, in their real name. Where officers or managers have been granted a restriction order, in some instances, they will be expected to provide evidence under a cypher.

Background to the Inquiry

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.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