24 Jul 2019

The Undercover Policing Inquiry has today published the final three anonymity applications for former Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) officers. They are accompanied by a direction that invites submissions concerning the orders the Chairman is minded to make in respect to the applications.

The applications request that the real names of three undercover police officers in the SDS are restricted. The Chairman has already issued notes stating that he is minded to accept the three applications.

The Inquiry has already published the cover names of the three officers.

The three undercover police officers are:

  • “Anthony (‘Bobby’) Lewis” (HN78)
  • “Paul Gray” (HN126)
  • “Geoff Wallace” (HN296)

The media and any core participant that wishes to take issue with these orders should submit written representations to the Inquiry by xx, setting out the grounds of the objection.

After the Chairman has considered any submissions received, he will issue a Ruling containing his final orders in respect to the real names of the three officers.

The publication of these documents represents a significant step towards concluding the anonymity process for SDS officers and ensuring evidential hearings can take place as soon as practically possible.

There are two other outstanding anonymity applications for former SDS officers. The first requests that the real name of “Rob Harrison” (HN18) is restricted and the second requests that the cover name of HN135 – whose real name will be published – is restricted. HN18’s application – which the Chairman is minded to accept – has already been published alongside a direction, while HN135’s application will be considered at a closed hearing.

In total, 165 SDS officers have been included in the anonymity process, and a further four have had their real and cover names published without being included in the process. Of the 169, 52 are management or back-office staff, and 117 are undercover police officers.

Sixty-eight cover names along with a list of 76 groups that the SDS was known to have infiltrated have now been published on our website. This is to enable members of the public to determine whether they have been affected by undercover policing and to come forward with evidence

The SDS was a covert unit that existed within the Metropolitan Police Service between 1968 and 2008.

Further information on the SDS anonymity process and the recent, current and planned work can be found in the Inquiry’s Eighth Update Note, which was published on 16 July 2019.

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