25 May 2022

From Monday 9 May to Friday 20 May, the Undercover Policing Inquiry held its Tranche 1 (Phase 3) opening statements and evidence hearings.

The evidence hearings were the first that the Inquiry has conducted in person. The Inquiry’s hearings in November 2020 and in April-May 2021 were virtual and conducted remotely due to restrictions in place due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

All evidence and corresponding open ground schedules related to the Tranche 1 (Phase 3) hearings have now been published on the ‘Published evidence’ page of the Inquiry website, bringing the total number of evidential documents published by the Inquiry to nearly 3,200.

Recordings of the oral opening statements and evidence can be found on the respective hearing day pages, where you can also find transcripts and other associated documents.

Phase 3 of Tranche 1 covered Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) managers over the period 1968 and 1983.  In total, there were three days of opening statement hearings and seven days of evidence hearings.

Fourteen separate oral opening statements specific to the phase were made, including a statement from David Barr QC Counsel to the Inquiry. Oral statements were streamed – in real-time – on YouTube.

Nine witnesses gave oral evidence: two civilian witnesses and seven former SDS managers. In addition, six SDS managers had summaries of their evidence or their written statements read out, and eleven SDS managers had documents associated with them introduced and published on the Inquiry website.

The full list of officers included in Phase 3 of Tranche 1 can be found in the relevant press notice.

The evidence hearings were held in person at the Thistle Marble Arch Hotel in central London. The venue was open to core participants and their legal representatives, media representatives, and the general public.

Proceedings could also be followed remotely. The oral evidence of the civilian witnesses was live-streamed on YouTube with a 10-minute delay, as were the evidence summaries. For the rest of the oral evidence, there was an audio feed available on YouTube with a 10-minute delay.

Transcripts were published at the end of each hearing day. All documents associated with each witness were published just before the witness began their oral evidence or their evidence summaries were read out. Daily indices were published throughout the evidence hearings, listing all evidential materials associated with the day’s witnesses. You can find the indices on the ‘Published evidence’ page.

The Inquiry intends to produce an interim report for Tranche 1. Those who have participated in Tranche 1 will be afforded the opportunity to make closing submissions in due course.

The Tranche 2 evidence hearings are expected to start in the spring of 2024. This tranche focuses on SDS officers and managers and those affected by deployments between 1983 and 1992.