In the Media

Undercover police officers – the inquiries | Rob Evans

PUBLISHED November 2, 2011

Twelve inquiries have so far been set up since the revelations about police spy Mark Kennedy emerged So now we have got into double figures - the number of inquiries into undercover policing of protest groups has climbed to 12. It's hard to keep track of all of them, so we thought that it would be useful to list them. We will update this list if or when more are announced. 1. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) Following disclosures about Mark Kennedy , the HMIC set up a review of undercover work by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit. According to its announcement in January, this was to look at the accountability and legality of undercover operations. An official description of its purpose can be found here . It was initially led by Bernard Hogan-Howe , in his role at the HMIC, before he became the Met Commissioner. He completed the first draft of the report in the summer. It is understood that the report ruled out stronger independent oversight of the deployment of undercover police officers. The report was due to be published on October 20, but was delayed at the last moment after the Guardian and BBC Newsnight published allegations that police chiefs had authorised undercover officers to give false evidence in court. HMIC is now considering the "relevance" of these allegations "to the recommendations for improvement in undercover policing tactics that we are making in our review". Publication date unknown. 2 . Serious and Organised Crime Agency Also set up in January, this examined the "conduct of Mark Kennedy ". Understood to criticise both Kennedy and his superiors . Understood to have been completed and is due to be published alongside the HMIC report. 3. Sir Christopher Rose Retired High Court Judge Sir Christopher Rose is examining allegations that the Crown Prosecution Service suppressed vital evidence in the case of the environmental protesters who were planning to break into the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. It was set up in July following allegations by the Guardian and BBC Newsnight. The evidence consisted of secret surveillance tapes recorded by Kennedy. Date of publication unknown. 4. Independent Police Complaints Commission Started in January , the IPCC has been examining whether Nottinghamshire police concealed key evidence from the environmental protesters who were planning to occupy the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. Publication is delayed until Sir Christopher Rose's inquiry is completed as the two inquiries are running in tandem. 5. Secret CPS review Following the collapse of the prosecution of protesters who planned to occupy the Ratcliffe-on- Soar power station in January, the CPS carried out an internal review which was completed on March 21. It has not been published. 6. Second secret CPS review After police accused the CPS of withholding documents from defendants in the Ratcliffe-on-Soar case, the CPS asked one of its senior prosecutors, Chris Enzor, in April to "conduct a formal inquiry into the case". His inquiry appears not to have been completed as it was overtaken by the decision to call in Sir Christopher Rose to investigate. 7. Confidential police inquiry Following allegations that Nottinghamshire police concealed evidence from the defendants in the Ratcliffe-on-Soar case, Nottinghamshire police asked a regional police unit to investigate. The review was completed in March, but was not published, although parts of it have been leaked . 8. Montgomery review In January, Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, asked Clare Montgomery, a QC, to review the safety of the convictions of the environmental protesters who had been plotting to break into the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. It led to the quashing of those convictions . Completed in March or April this year, it was never published. 9. Streater review Commander Mark Streater, who is head of covert policing at Scotland Yard, is "auditing" current covert undercover operations. Set up in October after allegations that police chiefs had authorised undercover officers to give false evidence in court. Publication date unknown. 10. Independent Police Complaints Commission Following allegations in October that police chiefs had authorised undercover officers to give false evidence in court, Scotland Yard called in the IPCC. So far it is looking specifically at the allegations concerning Jim Boyling, an undercover officer who infiltrated environmental group Reclaim the Streets. The Met is also "reviewing similar allegations" about a second police spy, Bob Lambert , "with a view to referring it to the IPCC". 11. Simmons review Last week, the Met Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe , announced that "there is currently a review underway led by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons" into 'covert deployments' between 1968-2008. He has not specified what its remit other than to say it "is considering the range of issues associated with undercover deployments that have been raised". Publication date unknown. 12. Internal disciplinary inquiry Following allegations in the Guardian in January, the Met announced that it had started an internal investigation in Jim Boyling, who had infiltrated the Reclaim the Streets group. Not yet completed. With so many inquiries of one sort or another, there have unsurprisingly been calls for one proper over-arching inquiry which would be held in public. These calls have stretched from Lord Macdonald , the former director of public prosecutions, Peter Black, the ex-undercover policeman to the activists themselves . Mark Kennedy Activism Surveillance Crime Rob Evans © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds