HN241 is the cipher given to a former Special Demonstration Squad] undercover officer, currently in their 70s. They were deployed in the 1970s. In February 2018, John Mitting, Chair of the Undercover policing Inquiry ruled that both HN241's real and cover names were to be restricted.
- For the N cipher system see N officers page.
As an SDS officer
During their deployment N241 was arrested but not charged. Also they were 'the subject of one or more compromises, including an occasion when N241 avoided a threat of violence'.
Their Impact Statement speaks of the lack of support with the infiltration, calling the tasking 'amateurish'. HN241 also says:
- There was no recognition from the SDS about welfare. (...) it was a matter of luck as to whether people recruited to the SDS could hack it. There were no checks on mental suitability for the role.
In the Undercover Policing Inquiry
Mitting stated in a note of November 2017:
- Although the risk to physical safety, if the real name were to be published, is low, it cannot be dismissed as fanciful. There is a real, but unquantifiable, risk that if the cover name were to be published, the real name could be identified. From what has so far been disclosed to the Inquiry about the deployment, it seems very unlikely that the publication of either real or cover name would prompt any evidence from a non—state source which would assist the Inquiry to fulfil its terms of reference. In those circumstances, the right to respect for an aspect of private life – physical integrity – is not outweighed by any factor which would justify interference with it. Closed reasons accompany this note.
HN241's Risk Assessment noted that they were not a Core Participant in the Inquiry, not given any assurances regarding anonymity and nothing official was ever said regarding future anonymity.
In his Minded-to of Nov 2017, Mitting said he would restrict both cover and real names. The Restriction order application was heard in open hearing on 5 February 2018. He ruled in favour of the restrictions on 20 February 2018, stating:
- For a variety of reasons, which are summarised in the closed note which accompanied the 'Minded to' note of 14 November 2017, the risk to the safety of HN241 is difficult to quantify... I have revisited the material which underpins that note and have re-evaluated the double contingency which would give rise to the risk of serious harm to HN241. I remain satisfied that there is a real risk that if the cover name were to be published, the real name might be discovered by those who might wish harm to HN241 and that, if they were to discover it, they would use violence to do so.
- Sir 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 - Ruling, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 20 February 2018 (accessed 4 March 2018).
- Brian Lockie, HN241 Risk assessment (open version), Metropolitan Police, 3 October 2017 (accessed via ucpi.org.uk).
- 'N241', HN241 Impact Statement (open version), Metropolitan Police, 2017 (accessed via ucpi.org.uk).
- 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 2, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 14 November 2017 (accessed 15 November 2017)
- 15 January 2018 Press notice: Hearing on restriction orders in respect of HN23, HN40, HN241, HN322 and HN348, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 15 January 2018 (accessed 15 January 2018).