The Chair of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, Sir John Mitting, has today published the Inquiry’s Tranche 1 interim report. The interim report is available on the Inquiry’s website and marks an important milestone in the Inquiry’s mission to get to the truth of undercover policing as set out in its Terms of Reference.
The interim report covers Tranche 1 of the Inquiry’s investigations: “Special Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1968-1982)”, across 14 years of undercover policing activity by the Met Police’s Special Operation Squad/Special Demonstration Squad.
The interim report sets out the Chair’s assessment of the history of the unit and draws conclusions about the purposes for which it was set up, continued to operate and the justification for doing so.
The interim report is the result of a thorough investigation, drawing on over 3400 evidential documents, records and files from multiple sources. This included contemporaneous documents, witness statements given in writing and evidence heard orally during 29 days of evidential hearings. Tranche 1 received evidence, either in writing (and/or orally) from 56 surviving former undercover officers, 22 of their managers and 21 members of the public whom they interacted with during 1968-1982.
The evidence uncovered in Tranche 1 will continue to be used alongside the evidence in later Tranches to get to the truth of overarching issues, such as the impact of the conduct of male police officers on women deceived into sexual relationships and on the families of the officers; the impact on the surviving relatives of deceased children of the adoption of their identity and the purpose of gathering intelligence on ‘justice’ campaigns.
Selected individuals with a particular interest in the report, including core participants to the Inquiry were given access to the interim report 48 hours in advance of publication.
The interim report refers only to published evidence. A separate, closed interim report has been presented to the Home Secretary alongside the interim report. The findings reached in this published interim report take into consideration the closed evidence, even where it is impossible to detail that evidence safely within the open report.
The Inquiry’s work investigating over 50 years of undercover policing in England and Wales continues, with the next set of evidential hearings scheduled to cover Tranche 2 investigations, “Special Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1983-1992)”. A full report will be published once all Tranche investigations have been completed.
Notes to editors:
The Inquiry was set up in 2015, announced by the then-Home Secretary Theresa May. This was in response to independent reviews by Mark Ellison QC, which found “appalling practices in undercover policing”.
The Inquiry’s investigations are broken down into three modules:
- Module One: Examination of the deployment of undercover officers in the past, their conduct, and the impact of their activities on themselves and others.
- Module Two: 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 was 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 other government bodies with a connection to undercover policing, including the Home Office.
- Module Three: Examination of current undercover policing practices and of how undercover policing should be conducted in future.
To manage such a broad remit, the Inquiry has divided its work for Modules One and Two into the following six “tranches”:
- Special Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1968-1982)
- Special Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1983-1992)
- Special Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1993-2007)
- National Public Order Intelligence Unit officers and managers and those affected by deployments
- Other undercover policing officers and managers and those affected by deployments
- Management & oversight (including of intelligence dissemination) by mid and senior rank officers, other agencies and government departments
Management and oversight issues that form Tranche 6 will now be investigated in the relevant tranche for the relevant period or policing unit.
As investigations into future Tranches are still ongoing, the Chair of the Inquiry will not be making a statement or giving interviews on the publication of this interim report.
For more information visit Undercover Policing Inquiry: Undercover Policing Inquiry: Official Website (ucpi.org.uk).
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