30 Oct 2019

The Chairman of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, Sir John Mitting, has ruled that the real name of the undercover police officer known by their cover name “Rob Harrison” (HN18) will not be restricted. The real names of two further officers, known by their cover names “Paul Gray” (HN126) and “Geoff Wallace” (HN296) will not be published, while the cover name of Mike Ferguson (HN135) will be restricted.

In ‘Minded to’ note 11, the Chairman set out his intention to restrict the real name of HN18 and the reasons for doing so. Since this time, “Maya” has been designated as a core participant on the basis that she had an intimate sexual relationship with HN18 during his deployment. In this latest ruling, the Chairman states that “Maya” is entitled to know the officer’s real name and use the information as she feels is right. Therefore, no restriction order will be put in place, and the real name will appear un-redacted in documents when they are published or otherwise shared by the Inquiry.

The ruling is accompanied by an explanatory note.

All officers included in this ruling were part of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS).

The new ruling means there is now only one anonymity application from a former SDS officer outstanding. This is the application from “Anthony (‘Bobby’) Lewis” (HN78) to have their real name restricted. A ruling on this application is expected to be published before the end of 2019.

In total, 164[1] 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 168, 51 are management or back-office staff, and 117 are undercover police officers.

Sixty-nine cover names along with a list of 83 groups that the SDS was known to have infiltrated have now been published on the Inquiry 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 list of infiltrated groups will continue to be updated throughout the lifetime of the Inquiry as new evidence is received and reviewed.

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 ‘Publications’ page on the Inquiry website contains copies of any restriction orders made. Copies of the open versions of the anonymity application are also available here.

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 page 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

[1] The Inquiry has previously stated that 165 SDS officers have been included in the anonymity process. This has reduced to 164 as the application from the cover officer HN367/EN52 to have their real name restricted will now be processed as part of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) cohort of officers.