HN344

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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
'HN344'
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Alias: Ian Cameron
Deployment: 1971-1972
Unit:
Targets:
Anti-Internment League, Northern Minorities Defence Force

HN344 is the cipher given to a former Special Demonstration Squad undercover officer who used the alias Ian Cameron when was deployed in 1971-1972 to infiltrate the Anti-Internment League and the Northern Minorities Defence Force.[1][2]

* For the N cipher system see N officers page.'

In the Undercover Policing Inquiry

  • 31 October 2017: MPS submit application to restrict real name.[3]
  • 14 November 2017: Inquiry states it needs more details before making decision on restricting details.[4]
  • March 2018: Inquiry Chair, Sir John Mitting, states he is minded to refuse restriction order over real name.In his note on HN344, Mitting say that the officer recalls their cover name but has refused to disclose it to risk assessors. Nothing reliable known of his deployment. Does not consider himself at risk from the groups he targeted or their members. They resigned from MPS in 1980s, and were later arrested for unauthorised possession of official documents, though not prosecuted on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Thereafter undertook private security work in Asia. In his 70s and lives abroad. The Chair concluded:[2]
Given his unwillingness to disclose his cover name to the risk assessor or to the Inquiry, and the lack of information about his deployment, the only (faint) chance of discovering anything about his deployment is to publish his real name.
  • April 2018 Minded to: cover name can be published; decision on real name deferred, with Mitting writing:[5]
Since the publication of the fifth 'Minded to' note on 27 February 2018, HN344 has disclosed the cover name or names under which he was deployed and the group targeted. no confirmatory evidence of these statements has yet come to light... I will defer ruling on the [MPS]'s application for a restriction order in respect of his real name, to await developments. Meanwhile, the provisional restriction order in respect of it will remain in place.
  • 23 May 2018: no decision as yet reached in respect of the real name, but any cover names will be published.[6] Mitting also wrote:[7]
HN344 is in his 70s. He does not live in the United Kingdom. He claims to have been deployed undercover by Special Branch in the late 1960s under the supervision of HN332 and HN294. He has given a detailed account of his deployment and subsequent police activities in a response to a request for information made by the MPS dated 25 May 2017 which, for a reason unknown to me, was not made available to the Inquiry until May 2018. It contains detailed assertions of fact which I know to be wrong. I have identified one in the closed note which accompanies these reasons. Consequently, I doubt the accuracy of his claims about his deployment, including his identification of the cover names under which he says he was deployed. No trace of them has yet been found in contemporaneous documents. For what it is worth, they will be published. I doubt the utility of publishing his real name, but will keep the position under review, should it transpire that there is some purpose in doing so.
  • 13 September 2018: cover name and target groups released by UCPI.[1] Decision on real name remained deferred as per the 'Minded To'.[8]
  • 2 February 2019: 'Minded to' restrict real name.[9]
confirmatory evidence of the deployment of HN344 has been provided to the Inquiry. An investigation of his deployment is now possible. It remains possible, if unlikely, that one or more members of the public may provide evidence to the Inquiry about his deployment, following publication of his cover name, even though none have done so yet. The Inquiry can do no more to obtain evidence about his deployment than it has done. Publication of the real name of HN344 would not serve to further the interest of the Inquiry in fulfilling its terms of reference. If Article 8 ECHR applies to HN344, which it may not do because he lives abroad, the unquantifiable interference which it would cause with his right to respect for private life would not be justified under Article 8 (2) . Even if it does not, no good purpose would be served by publishing it.
  • 21 February 2019: Inquiry directs that submissions regarding the restriction order over the real name are to be made by 21 March 2019.[10]
  • 17 Apr 2019: ruling that real name would be restricted, and not restriction over cover name sought.[11]
HN344 was uncooperative and inaccurate. This is most likely to be the explanation for his misstatements than dishonesty. The Inquiry is aware of only one cover name, which has been published, of which it has confirmatory evidence. Because HN344 lives abroad, the Inquiry can only obtain worthwhile evidence from him with his cooperation.


Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Email to core participants, '20180913-UCPI_to_all_CPs-publishing_HN344', Undercover Policing Inquiry, 13 September 2018, referencing update of the webpage UCPI.org.uk/cover-names.
  2. 2.0 2.1 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 Special Demonstration Squad - 'Minded To' Note 5, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 7 March 2018.
  3. Dept. of Legal Services, Open application for a restriction order (anonymity) re: HN344, Metropolitan Police Service, 31 October 2017 (released 21 February 2019 via 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. 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 - 'Minded to' note 8, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 26 April 2018.
  6. 'Minded to' decisions relating to anonymity applications: Special Demonstration Squad Ruling on HN122, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 23 May 2018.
  7. 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 9 and Ruling 8, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 23 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.
  9. Sir John Mitting, 'Minded to' note 14 and Ruling 14, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 21 February 2019 (accessed 7 April 2019).
  10. Sir John Mitting, Directions for SDS HN18 HN66 HN122 HN299 342 and HN344, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 21 February 2019 (accessed 7 April 2019).
  11. 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 15, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 17 Apr 2019.