20 Sep 2018

A former undercover police officer, previously known by the nominal HN 16, has had his cover names published today by the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

The Inquiry has discovered that the officer may have made use of two identities James Straven and Kevin Crossland – when deployed into the Animal Liberation Front and the Brixton and Croydon Hunt Saboteurs.

The officer was active in these groups between 1997 and 2002.

“James Straven” was the name that the Special Demonstration Squad sanctioned HN16 to use as his undercover identity. This name was not based on the identity of a deceased child.

Kevin Crossland was the identity of a deceased child who died in a plane crash in 1966. Use of this name does not appear to have been sanctioned by the Special Demonstration Squad, and the Inquiry is investigating why and how the name “Kevin Crossland” was used. It encourages anyone with information about this to come forward.

The relatives of Kevin Crossland have asked that the following passage be included in this press notice, in Kevin’s memory:

“Kevin was a very happy, five year old boy full of life. On 31 August 1966 Kevin, his sister and parents left to go on holiday, boarding a flight from Luton Airport to Ljubljana, in Old Yugoslavia.

“Kevin and sister were very excited, they had packed their favourite toys to take with them. On the way to Luton Airport both were singing, “we are going to the summer holiday”. Kevin and his sister sat on the left side of the plane near the end, next to their mother, whilst their father sat the other side of gangway with a good view of his family.

“It was clear night but just before coming to land gone midnight, father heard his daughter calling “the wing is hitting tree tops and there is fire coming out of them” and in no time Kevin, his sister and their mother died – with only their father who survived with multiple injuries, burns and enormous guilt that he was not able to save his family.”

The relatives of Kevin Crossland have applied for and been granted core participant status (PDF, 307KB), and an award of costs in respect of legal representation (PDF, 173KB).

In April 2018, HN 16 admitted to having had an intimate relationship in his cover identity with “Ellie”. “Ellie” has today been granted core participant status (PDF, 307KB), an award of costs in respect of legal representation, iv and anonymity.

The Inquiry is now calling on anyone who may have information about HN16’s deployment to get in touch as the Inquiry seeks to discover the truth of undercover policing over the past 50 years.

The Inquiry’s telephone number is 0203 876 4750 and its email address is [email protected].

When cover names are published

Cover names are published when there is no restriction order made which prevents publication of material held by the Inquiry. A restriction order is a protective measure under the Inquiries Act 2005.

Such publication can occur either because there is no application for a restriction order, or where an application has been unsuccessful.

So far, the cover names of 60 officers have been published by the Inquiry.

Cover names are published once the Inquiry has completed its pre-publication checks. These include checking if the officer engaged in a close relationship in their undercover identity, or the name of a deceased person was used by the officer, and endeavouring to locate and contact any such individual so affected.


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.


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


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.


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


  1. The Undercover Policing Inquiry is constituted under the Inquiries Act 2005 (PDF, 207KB)
  2. The Inquiry’s terms of reference were announced by the Home Secretary on 16 July 2015.
  3. The Inquiry’s Strategic Review (PDF, 829KB) was published in May 2018.
  4. The Inquiry’s Restriction Protocol (PDF, 88KB) was published in May 2017.
  5. The Inquiry’s Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 96KB) document provides more information on the Inquiry more generally, as do its published update notes
  6. 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, Patrick Coyne:

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 07766 524224