Evidence & hearings
Find the hearings schedule and all evidence published by the Undercover Policing Inquiry, including witness statements and transcripts of hearings.
Information on preliminary issues which the Inquiry has resolved to enable its substantive investigations to progress can also be found here.
For information on core participants and specific undercover police officers, including anonymity applications, please see the ‘Who is involved’ section.
In order for the Inquiry to get to their truth of undercover policing and provide recommendations for the future, it has been necessary to resolve certain preliminary issues.
In coming to his conclusions, the Chairman sought and considered input from multiple stakeholders relevant to the issue in hand.
Issues lists identify the focus and direction of the Inquiry’s investigations. Four have been published to date:
- Module One investigation into the Special Demonstration Squad: the draft list was released for consultation on 5 July 2018, with the list published on 5 February 2019
- Module One investigation into the National Public Order Investigation Unit: the draft list was released for consultation on 26 July 2018, with the list published on 21 February 2019.
- Module One investigation into other policing operations: the draft list was released for consultation on 26 July 2018, with the list published on 21 February 2019.
- Module Two (a) investigation into the Special Demonstration Squad: The draft list was released for consultation on 27 February 2019, with the list published on 26 September 2019.
As a public inquiry, all relevant and necessary evidence that the Inquiry considers as part of its investigations will be published, subject to any redactions.
Before hearings, general documents – such as annual reports submitted by the Chief Inspector of the SDS to the Special Branch Commander – relevant to the upcoming tranche will be published.
Following each open hearing, the Inquiry will publish a daily transcript of the hearing, together with any documents (e.g. witness statements and supporting evidence) referred to that day.
Once the hearings for a particular tranche has finished, all further, publicly available evidence from the hearing bundles for that tranche – even if it is not expressly referred to during the hearings – will be published.
Below you will find all evidence published to date. Certain documents are accompanied by a schedule that sets out the basis for redactions.
Evidence hearings schedule
The Inquiry’s first evidence hearings are due to start on Monday 2 November 2020. The November hearings will be virtual and conducted remotely due to the expectation that social distancing measures will still be in place at this time.
The Inquiry will consider the undercover policing activities of officers and managers and those affected by deployments in tranches ordered chronologically.
The first evidence hearings will focus on officers and managers in the SDS active between 1968 and 1982. This tranche will also include evidence from non-state core participants and witnesses affected by these officers’ deployment. The opening statements and first evidence hearings will last for around three weeks in November 2020, with the latter continuing in early 2021.
The Inquiry will usually sit for up to four days per week although both the frequency of hearings and times may vary.
For the Inquiry’s virtual hearings, opening statements given live will be live-streamed on the Inquiry website with a five-minute delay. Recorded and written opening statements will also be published on the Inquiry website.
The open oral evidence of witnesses will be viewed and heard in real-time by the Chairman, Counsel to the Inquiry and the recognised legal representative of the witness. Core participants with a direct interest in the evidence given will also be able to hear it in real-time. An audio recording will be made and, once checked to ensure that it contains nothing which should not be broadcast, will be uploaded onto the Inquiry website alongside a transcript.
Further information can be found in the Chairman’s statement.
When the Inquiry’s open hearings are held in-person in a hearing room, members of the public are welcome to attend.
In the normal course of events, a witness called to give evidence at open hearings will be expected to provide their evidence in public, in full view of those attending.
However, witnesses can request special measures to protect restricted identities or information, of because of their health or location. Special measures could include counselling, a hearing loop or giving evidence via a video-link.
On 7 April 2020, the Chairman issued a statement in response to special measures applications invited from former undercover officers who will give evidence in Tranche 1, which covers those active in the Special Demonstration Squad between 1968 and 1982. Further background can be found in the accompanying press notice.
The open hearings will take place at 18 Pocock St, London, SE1 0BW. This is the hearings venue used by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Its hearings will not be affected.
The Pocock Street venue provides the following:
- Capacity for up to 16 legal teams in the hearing room;
- Seating for up to 60 members of the public in the hearing room;
- Additional capacity for up to 40 members of the public and media in the adjoining overflow room serviced by a live-link transmission of proceedings (with a short time delay);
- Rooms for witnesses to meet their legal teams and for private consultation;
- A small room set aside for the media;
- Access and facilities for those with mobility issues;
- Publicly available Wi-Fi throughout the venue.
Read more in our hearings protocol.