17 Apr 2019

The Chairman of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, Sir John Mitting, has today ruled that the real names of four officers, known by their cover names  ‘Edward David Jones/Bob the Builder/Edge/Dave’ (HN66/EN327),  ‘Neil Richardson’ (HN122), ‘David Hughes’ (HN299/342) and ‘Ian Cameron’ (HN344) will not be published.

This follows ‘Minded to’ notes 5, 13 and 14 which set out the Chairman’s intention to restrict the officers’ real names and the reasons for doing so.

These decisions have been taken following a thorough investigation of the evidence presented to the Inquiry for the purpose of the restriction order application. In each case, the extent to which revealing the officer’s real name would help the Inquiry fulfil its objectives, if at all, was balanced against the right of the officer and their families to private life. In these four cases, based on the evidence currently available, the Chairman deemed the latter to outweigh the former. At present, there is no evidence to suggest the officers had relationships with deceived individuals while undercover.

These officers will still be required to give evidence to the Inquiry as it seeks to get to the truth of undercover policing.

The decision on the real name of a fifth officer, known by the cover name ‘Rob Harrison’ (HN18), has been deferred pending the receipt of further information.

The officers were all part of the Special Demonstration Squad, which was in existence between 1968 and 2008.

To date, the Inquiry has published 65 cover names of Special Demonstration Squad officers and decided not to restrict a further four, which will be published in due course. Currently, the real names of 18 Special Demonstration Squad officers will not be restricted.

Background

Why anonymity is sometimes needed

The Inquiry aims to be as open and transparent as possible. 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 core participants – including 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, because of the nature of the deployments they have undertaken.
  • 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.

Where individuals have been deceived into relationships, the Chairman has stated that, when the true identity of an undercover officer is not restricted, the deceived individuals have a right to know the real name. Should a deceived individual confirm they wish to know the unrestricted true identity of the officer who deceived them, the Inquiry provides the name to them with no terms of confidence applied. Wider publication of the true identity will take place in these cases by leaving the name un-redacted in documents when they are published or otherwise shared by the Inquiry.

The directions, rulings and orders webpage on the Inquiry website contains copies of any restriction orders made. Copies of the open versions of the anonymity application are also on the website.

Further background to the Inquiry can be found on the Inquiry website.

END

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Undercover Policing Inquiry is constituted under the Inquiries Act 2005

The Inquiry’s terms of reference were announced by the Home Secretary on 16 July 2015.

The Inquiry’s Strategic Review was published in May 2018.

The Inquiry’s Frequently Asked Questions document provides more information on the Inquiry more generally, as do its published update notes.

The Inquiry’s website is http://www.ucpi.orq.uk/ and the Inquiry can be found on Twitter @ucpinquiry.

For further information please contact the Inquiry’s communications team:

Email: press.queries@ucpi.orq.uk

Tel:     07827 818460