29 Jul 2019

The Inquiry’s aim is discover the truth about undercover policing across England and Wales over the past 50 years, and provide recommendations for the future.

For the purposes of the Inquiry, undercover police operations are defined as “the use by a police force of a police officer as a covert human intelligence source”.

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 SDS was a covert unit that existed within the Metropolitan Police Service between 1968 and 2008.

The NPOIU was set up around 1986, originally as the Animal Rights National Index. Around 2010, it merged with three other units to become the National Domestic Extremism Unit.

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 those who came into contact with officers and the officers themselves.

The Inquiry will establish a clear picture of what has happened and why, so that fully informed recommendations can be made for the future of undercover policing.

The Inquiry’s terms of reference sets the Inquiry’s work out in full.