Don de Freitas (alias)
Don de Freitas is the cover name of a former Special Demonstration Squad undercover officer who targeted the Havering, Essex branch of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign for several weeks in 1968.
He is also known by the cipher HN330 for the purposes of the Undercover Policing Inquiry and Operation Herne (for the N cipher system see N officers). The Inquiry has ruled that the officer's real name will be restricted.
As an SDS officer
He targeted the Havering, Essex branch of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, attending some of their meetings, both public and private. He created a false name and occupation. He ceased his undercover deployment with the Special Operations Squad on 27th October 1968, following the large VSC march which the unit had focused on. See also Margaret White (HN334) who acted as his girlfriend when he was deployed against the VSC.
In the Undercover Policing Inquiry
Cover name and target group released 6 March 2018.
In an email to the risk assessors he stated:
- I am puzzled by your reference to my “cover name”. I did have rather a large number of them… I would, however, emphasise that between those dates I did not join any political party, group or organisation. I was present at hundreds of political meeting, joined many public demonstrations and protests throughout the [Metropolitan Police District] and knocked on hundreds of doors. In all cases and for obvious reasons my true identity remained unknown and when avoidable I gave a false name and occupation...”
Though the cover name had not been ascertained in August 2017, there was still intention by the Inquiry to restrict real name, the Metropolitan Police having applied to restrict his real name only, providing supplementary submissions, a personal statement and risk assessment (David Reid) - open versions published. When the ‘Minded to’ dated 3 August 2017 was published, the Inquiry did not know HN330’s cover name and HN330 could not remember it. The Inquiry has since received information from another officer which permits HN330’s cover name to be published. Legal representatives of this officer and the Metropolitan Police Service have been notified and, provided that no application for a restriction order in respect of it is received, it will be [released].
The Chair indicated he was still minded to restrict publishing the real name, but would release the cover name, pending any application to restrict it. The application on the real name was heard at the hearing of 21 November 2017, with Mitting ruling in favour of restricting the real name on 5 December. The Restriction Order was released on 8 December 2017.
He is not a core participant, and has expressed to risk assessors (whom he has declined to meet) "he has the ‘most monumental indifference’ to whether the Inquiry wishes him to give evidence."
See also the NPSCP submissions of 5 October 2017.
- 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.
- HN329, Open personal statement (redacted), Metropolitan Police Service, April 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
- Cover names released: "Don de Freitas” and “Margaret White” - Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, 1968 - Undercover Policing Inquiry, 6 March 2018). See also ucpi.org.uk/cover-names, accessed 6 March 2018.
- David Reid, HN330 open risk assessment, Metropolitan Police Service, 31 May 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
- Press Release: 'Minded to' note, ruling and directions in respect of anonymity applications relating to former officers of the Special Demonstration Squad, Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 3 August 2017.
- In October 2017, it was noted:<ref name="mitting.supp.minded-to.23Oct2017 Sir John Mitting, Supplementary 'Minded-To', Undercover Policing Inquiry, 23 October 2017 (accessed 23 October 2017 via UCPI.org.uk).
- 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.
- John Mitting, 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 ‘Minded to’ note, Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 3 August 2017.
- Transcript of hearing of 21 November 2017, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 21 November 2017.
- Sir John Mitting, Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad: Ruling, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 5 December 2017.
- David Reid, HN330 open risk assessment (redacted), Metropolitan Police Service, 31 May 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).