Alan 'Nick' Nicholson (alias)

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This article is part of the Undercover Research Portal at Powerbase - investigating corporate and police spying on activists



Part of a series on
undercover police officers
HN56
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Alias: Alan 'Nick' Nicholson
Deployment: 1990-1991
Unit:
Targets:
British National Party

Alan 'Nick' Nicholson is the alias of an undercover officer with the Special Demonstration Squad, who was deployed 1990-1991 against the British National Party.[1]

He is also referred to by the cipher HN56 (for the N cipher system, see the N officers page).

In the Undercover Policing Inquiry

23 October 2017, the Chair of the Inquiry, John Mitting, directed that applications for restriction orders should be submitted for HN56 no later than 31 October:[2]

The Metropolitan Police Service made an application to restrict the real name only of HN56 on 25 October 2017, though that was not made public until May 2018.[3]

  • Nov 2017: Metropolitan Police asked to clarify the extent of the application to restrict real / cover name.[4]
  • 20 Feb 2018: directed that any application for HN56 was to be filed by 26 February 2018 by the MPS Legal Team and 28 February 2018 by the Designated Lawyers team.[5]
  • 22 Mar 2018: the Chair of the Inquiry, John Mitting, wrote he was minded to grant the application over the real name, writing:[6]
N56 is a sexagenarian. He was deployed for about a year in the early 1990s into the moribund branch of one potentially violent group. He has no concern about the publication of his cover name, which will occur. Publication of his real name is not necessary to permit the Inquiry to fulfil its terms of reference. It might give rise to unwelcome media attention and/or the slight risk of something worse. If either occurred, it would interfere with his right to respect for private and family life...
  • 17 Apr 2018: cover name released.[1]
  • 15 May 2018: ruling made restricting real name, but rejecting application over cover name rejected.[7][8]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Undercover Policing Inquiry, Update of Cover names page, ucpi.org.uk, 17 April 2018.
  2. John Mitting, (1) The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and its impact on the Inquiry’s work (2) Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstrations Squad: Directions, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 23 October 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk, 23 October 2017).
  3. [https://www.ucpi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/20171025-MPS-HN56_Application.pdf Open application for a restriction order (anonymity) re: HN56], Metropolitan Police Service, 25 October 2017, published 8 May 2018 at ucpi.org.uk.
  4. Counsel to the Inquiry's Explanatory note to accompany the 'Minded-To' Note (2) in respect for restrictions over the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 14 November 2017.
  5. Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstrations Squad - Directions, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 20 February 2018 (accessed 1 March 2018 via UCPI.org.uk).
  6. Sir John Mitting, In the matter of section 19(3) of the Inquiries Act 2005 Application for restriction order in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad 'Minded To' Note 6 and Ruling 5, Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 22 March 2018 (accessed 28 March 2018).
  7. In the matter of section 19 (3) of the Inquiries Act 2005 Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstrations Squad: Ruling, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 15 May 2018.
  8. Kate Wilkinson, Counsel to the Inquiry's Explanatory Note to accompany the Chairman's 'Minded-To' Note 12 in respect of applications for restrictions over the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad, Undercover Public Inquiry, 13 September 2018.