About the Inquiry

About the Inquiry

The Undercover Policing Inquiry was set up in 2015 to get to the truth about undercover policing across England and Wales since 1968 and provide recommendations for the future.

SECTIONS

background
Inquiry team
Timetable
Costs
Key statistics

Background

In 2015 the then Home Secretary, Theresa May announced that there would be a judge-led inquiry into undercover policing.

This was in response to independent reviews by Mark Ellison QC, which found “appalling practices in undercover policing”. In a statement that accompanied the publication of the Inquiry’s terms of reference, Theresa May said:

“Undercover policing is an essential tactic in the fight against crime but any allegation that the police misused this power must be taken seriously…This inquiry will not only look at historical failings but make recommendations to ensure those unacceptable practices are not repeated in the future.”

The Chairman delivered his opening remarks on 28 July 2015.

Purpose and scope

The work of the Inquiry covers the full scope of undercover policing work across England and Wales. Two undercover policing units – the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) – have particular prominence for the Inquiry; however, its work is not restricted to these units.

The Inquiry will examine the contribution undercover policing has made to tackling crime, how it was and is supervised and regulated, and its effect on individuals involved – both police officers and others who came into contact with them.

The Inquiry will also examine whether people may have been wrongly convicted in cases involving undercover police officers, and refer any such cases to a separate panel for consideration.

Modules and tranches

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”:

  1. Special Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1968-1982)
  2. Special­­­­­ Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1983-1992)
  3. Special Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1993-2007)
  4. National Public Order Intelligence Unit officers and managers and those affected by deployments
  5. Other undercover policing officers and managers and those affected by deployments
  6. Management & oversight (including of intelligence dissemination) by mid and senior rank officers, other agencies and government departments

Terms of Reference

The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference set out the Inquiry’s purpose and scope in full and were published by the Home Secretary when the Inquiry was established.

Update notes

Update notes

Inquiry update notes provide a snapshot of the Inquiry’s recent, current and planned work in getting to the truth of undercover policing and delivering recommendations for the future.  Download the latest update note from July 2019.

N.B. certain dates and figures have now been superseded by others displayed on the Inquiry website.

FAQs

Which police units are being investigated? What is the timeline for the Inquiry? How will the evidence hearings work? Find the answers to these questions and more in the FAQs section.

Inquiry team

Sir John Mitting

Chair

Sir John Mitting is a former High Court judge and served as the Chairman of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission from 2007 to 2012.

Sir John was appointed as the Inquiry’s Chair in 2017. Before that, the Chair was Sir Christopher Pitchford, who had to step down due to ill health.

Supporting the Chairman is a team of around 90 staff.

John Mitting

Diversity

The Undercover Policing Inquiry is staffed by a highly motivated, skilled and diverse workforce. The Inquiry is committed to promoting and ensuring equality and valuing diversity. The available data on the Inquiry’s workforce as of 16 July 2019 is displayed below.

Gender

Ethnicity

Age

*All figures are displayed as percentages. According to figures released by the Office of National Statistics in August 2019, 12% of the UK workforce identifies as an ethnic minority and 47% identifies as a woman. 

Schedule

Timetable

As there are several complex issues still to be determined that require engagement with Core Participants, there remains some uncertainty around the completion date for certain stages; however, those milestones on which there is a greater degree of certainty have been added to the table below.

To manage such a broad remit, the Inquiry has divided its work for Modules One and Two into the following six “tranches”:

  1. Special Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1968-1982)
  2. Special Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1983-1992)
  3. Special Demonstration Squad officers and managers and those affected by deployments (1993-2007)
  4. National Public Order Intelligence Unit officers and managers and those affected by deployments
  5. Other undercover policing and those affected by deployments
  6. Management & oversight by mid and senior rank officers, other agencies and government departments

The table will be updated with additional dates on a quarterly basis.

Schedule
Tranche 1Tranche 2Tranche 3Tranche 4Tranche 5Tranche 6
Completion of anonymity applicationsCOMPLETECOMPLETE1 REMAINS
Obtaining witness statements from officers and managersDEC 2018 - FEB 2020MAY 2019 - OCT 2020
Obtaining witness statements from those affected by deploymentsNOV 2019 - FEB 2020
Anticipated commencement of hearingJUNE 2020
Closing submissions for Modules One and Two
Panel Members for Module Three in place
Publication of interim report
Closing submissions for Module Three
Module Three completed and delivery of Final Report to Home Secretary, ahead of publication
Costs

Costs

As part of the Inquiry’s commitment to transparency, it publishes details of its expenditure. The table below covers total expenditure up to the end of September 2019. Costs are updated on a quarterly basis.

DescriptionCost (£)
Total costs21,213,000
Inquiry staffing, including secretariat6,632,100
Inquiry counsel and legal services7,442,700
Core participant and witness costs2,321,200
Running costs, including accommodation and IT4,817,000
Costs

Notes on costs

These figures cover only expenditure where invoices have been processed and as such do not necessarily represent total expenditure within the period stated. All figures have been rounded up to the nearest hundred.

The final costs of the Inquiry will be published at the close of the Inquiry once all invoices have been received and settled. The categories in the table may expand during the progress of the Inquiry.

The Inquiry is directly funding its own legal team and all such costs are listed under the first two rows above, with the costs relating to the Chairman included in the first row.

Due to a change in the way in which its services are charged for, the costs up to September 2018 of the Government Legal Department solicitors engaged by the Inquiry are included in the first line and the costs from October 2018 are included in the second line.

Expenditure relating to core participants or witnesses to the Inquiry is made per this protocol. The Home Secretary has also made a determination setting out the conditions under which the Chairman should make awards for legal representation.

The Inquiry’s costs are met by the Home Office who sponsor the Inquiry. A joint management statement exists to ensure clear roles and responsibilities are in place facilitate the running of the Inquiry, in accordance with the provisions of the Inquiries Act 2005 and the Inquiry Rules 2006.

Key statistics

The statistics below are accurate as of 4 November 2019 and will be updated quarterly.

0
Core participants
0
Officers’ cover names published (Special Demonstration Squad)
0
Investigation files completed
0
Officer witness statements requested as part of substantive investigations1
0
Officer witness statements received as part of substantive investigations2
0
Directions, rulings and notes published
0
Days of open preliminary hearings
0
SDS and NPOIU staff identified as potentially having relevant evidence to give
0
Years of undercover policing under investigation

1This figure only includes witness statements requested in relation to the Inquiry’s substantive investigations. This does not include the total number of requests for information made by the Inquiry including those in relation to preliminary issues such as deceased children’s identities, privacy, standard of proof and undertakings.

2This figure only includes witness statements received in relation to the Inquiry’s substantive investigations. This does not include the total number of requests for information which have been fulfilled, including those in relation to preliminary issues such as deceased children’s identities, privacy, standard of proof and undertakings.