30 Oct 2018
The Chairman of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, Sir John Mitting, has today ruled that the cover names of two former officers, previously known by the nominal EN35 and EN37, will be published.
However, an accompanying ‘Minded to’ note (the second relating to the National Public Order Intelligence Unit), sets out his intention to restrict their real names.
Again, by way of ruling, the Chairman has decided that another officer, known by the nominal EN287, will also have his real name published.
The Chairman has also issued rulings to restrict the publication of the cover or real names of other former undercover officers. The officers were all part of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit which was in existence between 1999 and 2010.
These decisions have been taken following a thorough investigation of the evidence presented to the Inquiry.
- The officers will still be required to give evidence to the Inquiry as it seeks to get to the truth of undercover policing.
- The officers whose real name cannot be published, but whose cover names will not be restricted are: EN1 and EN34.
- The officers whose real name or cover name cannot be published are: EN33, EN36, EN38, EN39, EN40, EN41, EN42, EN43, EN47, EN48, EN288, EN507, EN808 and EN1001.
- The real names of EN74 and EN289 will be restricted but decisions on the officers’ cover names will be deferred.
- In respect of EN327, also known as HN66, the real name has been restricted but the Inquiry will publish the names by which EN327/HN66 was known by members of the groups targeted.
Why anonymity is sometimes needed
However, to discover the truth about undercover policing, in some cases, evidence will need to be heard by the Inquiry without members of the public or some core participants being present at the hearing.
This can be because:
- Some non-state core participants – sometimes people who have been deceived into relationships with officers – want their privacy respected.
- Exposure of identities could put individuals at a present and ongoing serious risk of injury, or in extreme cases, death.
- Revealing identities could damage individuals or their family’s private life, and contravene their human rights.
In these cases, anonymity can be granted by the Chairman through a restriction order, which is a protective measure under the Inquiries Act 2005.
In most cases, the Chairman issues a ‘minded to’ note which allows interested groups to make representations for or against his provisional decisions on key anonymity applications.
The directions, rulings and orders webpage contains copies of any restriction orders made. Copies of the open versions of the anonymity applications are also on the website.
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.
NOTES TO EDITOR
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