Jason Bishop (alias)
'Jason Bishop' was the assumed identity of an Special Demonstration Squad undercover police officer who infiltrated political groups within the activist and anarchist movement in London, including Reclaim the Streets (RTS), Earth First! and Disarm DSEi. He also attended the G8 in Scotland in 2005, focusing on those who were associated with the Dissent! Network. Bishop was exposed by activists in July 2013. On the 1st May 2018, it was announced by the Undercover Policing Inquiry that core participant HN3 was the police officer who had used the Jason Bishop alias.
- 1 Deployment
- 2 Personality
- 3 Background
- 4 Groups and Mobilisations Infiltrated
- 5 Exit Plan
- 6 Suspicions and Confirmation
- 7 Overlap with other undercover officers
- 8 Human Rights Complaint in Investigatory Powers Tribunal
- 9 In the Undercover Policing Inquiry
- 10 Notes
Jason Bishop's presence was first noted in 1999 by activists at a land occupation to celebrate the 350th anniversary of early-English communists The Diggers, at St. George's Hill, Surrey. However, the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) dates his deployment starting in 1998. Again, while activists recall him leaving London in 2004/5, the Undercover Policing Inquiry states that his deployment ends in 2006. He appears, like his National Public Intelligence Order Unit (NPIOU) successor, Mark Kennedy (aka 'Mark Stone') to have got himself involved himself in as many key anarchist campaigns and groups as possible (within London) at the time of his deployment (1999-2005). For instance, Bishop was involved with RTS, Disarm DSEi, Earth First!, Anti-GM activities and latterly the G8 mobilisation in 2005. In 'Undercover' by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis, Bishop's deployment is referred to as ‘uneventful’, while in 2018, Sir John Mitting, the chair of the UCPI, said that Bishop’s deployment was ‘unremarkable’. Material presented below casts doubt on this.
'Jason Bishop' and 'Dave Evans'
Bishop’s deployment overlapped with several other undercover officers (see Overlap), most notably Dave Evans with whom his deployment almost entirely coincided. Bishop shared a flat with him and worked with him undercover on a variety of actions. However, it seemed while Evans accompanied Bishop on actions towards the end of his deployment (G8 and Smash EDO - see below) relating to his target groups, as far as it is known this arrangement was not reciprocated by Bishop, though on one occasion he did cover for the latter, when he disappeared without reason from his deployment. The nature of this close working relationship is thought to be unique amongst both SDS and later NPOIU officers.
'Jason Bishop' was said to be very intelligent, sociable and easy to get on with. One activist remembered him as: 'Very friendly, smiley, a bit of a teddy bear'. Although, he was also remembered as someone who was often 'grumpy' - and 'controlling'. Another activist also said that they 'trusted him'. However, she later also recalled how he had a conversation with him in which he told her that he trusted another activist 'with his life'. In retrospect, she now believes that this was a ploy so that she associated Bishop with trustworthiness.
Bishop drank, but not to excess but was someone who 'smoked dope regularly'  - and got you stoned. Jason said that he was a devoted fan of the band 'The Oysterband', and professed to follow them around when they were on tour. This part of his personality connects to his real life, as the only sighting of 'Jason Bishop' post-deployment was at an Oysterband gig in London some years later. Bishop's email address firstname.lastname@example.org is also taken from an album title by the band. He volunteered to work at 'Workers Beer' bars to raise money for campaigning, which would have been an easy way to get to know other campaigners from outside his target group. He was also ready to help with technical-related tasks. For instance, Bishop offered one activist to install normally expensive, pirated music software on his computer. One activist recalled:
'He was the 'go to' guy for all things digital'. This fitted in with his fictional job as a seller of counterfeit DVD's. In addition, he claimed he had connections with 'hackers' in the Netherlands.
Like almost all SDS (and later NPOIU) undercover officers, driving activists (in his old land rover) to and from meetings and actions was an integral part of his Modus Operandi. The importance of this is referred to in the Special Demonstration Squad's 'Tradecraft Manual'  Despite being involved with a lot of anti-military and anti-war campaigning, Bishop made it clear that he was not from a 'pacifist' background in terms of his activist persona and generally avoided situations likely lead to arrest.  In connection with this, he professed to prefer small covert actions and was regularly involved in direct action training.
Unlike other UCO's, Bishop was not known to have a backstory and did not talk about his family.
Residence and Communications
- e-mail account: email@example.com
- Bishop was registered as living alone in 2002 at 37, Abbeyfields Close, Willesden, London, NW10 7EF
- Bishop lived at 64 Dyne Road, London.NW6 7DS with fellow undercover officer 'Dave Evans' who infiltrated animal rights groups, including London Animal Action. This was his last known UK address, prior to his staged exit.
- Bishop also said he rented a storage unit in connection with his job selling fake DVD's. No address is known for this.
- Bishop gave two address relating to his supposed connection to The Netherlands:
- 1) Sarphatistraat 230, 1018 GV Amsterdam
- 2) Tweede Hugo de Grootstraat 76H, 1052 LH Amsterdam
- According to an e-mail dated 3 March 2005, he said that he was moving to the second address on 11th March 2005. This address was the one activists' sister 'Tina' stayed while travelling around Europe in early 2005.
- Mobile number (Netherlands): 0031623197908
Bishop was a supposed seller of counterfeit DVD's. One person recalled going to his flat and seeing black bags of DVD's. He said he rented a lock-up (storage unit) in connection with this business. This is unique, insofar that his fake job involved criminal activity (though Mark Kennedy also claimed that he used to be a drug smuggler as part of his back story). This story was reinforced by his technological know-how, and that he supplied supposedly unlicensed software to help with the design of activist propaganda, including for DSEi. Just prior to his exit he said that he trained as a picture framer, and he would be taking a job as one when he moved to the Netherlands in 2004.
Bishop was recalled by several activists as owning an old Land Rover, which he frequently used to drive to and from actions and other events during his deployment.
Groups and Mobilisations Infiltrated
Reclaim the Streets and Mayday
Reclaim the Streets (RTS) began as an activist group in London:
- Its tactics: blending party and protest, spread around the world. Merging the direct action of Britain’s anti-road building movement and the criminalised rave scene, RTS became a catalyst for the global anti-capitalist movements of the late 1990s. RTS was able to close down major transport infrastructure, while simultaneously holding parties that thousands of people attended and participated in. In 1998, 70 simultaneous street parties happened around the world.
In May 2001, RTS was listed as a 'terrorist threat' by the FBI. According to a Metropolitan Police document, RTS was 'remarkably efficient at organising events; and "were able to deliver on their proposals'. Jim Boyling aka 'Jim Sutton' and 'Jaqueline Anderson' were other SDS officers who infiltrated RTS.
After his initial appearance at the 'Diggers' occupation in 1999, Jason Bishop' then appeared on the activist scene at a 'Reclaim the Streets' meeting in 1999, which would have been held at 'The Cock Tavern', in Somers Town, London.. Later, the RTS meetings that Bishop would have attended (2000-2001) were held in The Arsenal Tavern, Blackstock Road, N4 2JS.
This was the period after the high profile 'J18' (or 'Carnival against Capitalism') protest. This 'riot' was followed by a well-publicised police hunt for those caught on camera with warnings of future unrest. However, police said they were 'frustrated' as no national database of photographs existed at that time.
Bishop, at his known RTS meeting, reportedly asked the crime correspondent of The Times newspaper, why he had come along rather than the political correspondent. He also took part in the November 30th, 1999 RTS rally at Euston Station, which was planned to coincide with the WTO meeting taking place in Seattle. Fellow Special Demonstration Squad officer Jim Boyling was also in attendance, Bishop seemed to have been in the process of replacing him. generated both publicity and a significant police response. Despite this, a 'Guerilla Gardening' protest took place in Parliament Square, in which temporary gardens were installed. The protest was largely peaceful but attracted media approbation due to a statue of Winston Churchill being 'defaced' and a 'grass Mohawk' being placed on his head, which was later to become an iconic image.
At Mayday 2000, Bishop made himself 'invaluable' by doing a lot of the driving in the preparation for Mayday protests. Prior to the demonstration, it was decided that a building was needed to act as accommodation and a resource centre for those who were coming from outside London. Both Bishop and Jim Boyling were involved with this. In order to get inside a padlock had to be removed. In the process of doing this, Boyling almost injured another activist. Once inside, Bishop helped change the locks. He said that he was arrested for driving a van of manure to the Guerilla Gardening protest although no charges were ever brought against him. A week after his arrest, an activist arranged to meet him outside Charing Cross Police Station, where he was answering police bail. Bishop's lawyer seemed excited about the fact that the police operation had been directed at 'cabinet level'.
On 19 February 2001, RTS organised a protest in front of Parliament took place when the Terrorist Act 2000 came into force.  Bishop was present, helping a friend attach a 'Terrorist' banner to a statue of Nelson Mandela.
Later, in April 2001, Bishop was involved with an RTS performance-theatre action on the day of BP's AGM at the Royal Festival Hall.
At Mayday in London during 2003, Bishop was described within disclosed legal documents as
- An IC1 (White European} male of large build with a full beard who has been seen at Pre-Mayday meetings and at the BP AGM at the Royal Festival Hall. His most distinctive appearance on all occasions was a dark coloured baseball cap with a red peak.
DSEi - Arms Fair Protests
Protests and direct action have been targeting the biannual Defence and Security Equipment International Exhibition (DSEi), more commonly referred to by activists as a arms fair, since it began in 1999 when it took place in Chertsey, Surrey. From 2001, it was sited at the Excel Centre in East London.
Originally, Disarm DSEi was a coalition of groups which included Reclaim the Streets organisers and those involved with Campaign Against the Arms Trade. In 2001, the coalition also included the anarchist anti-capitalist group, the W.O.M.B.L.E.S., another off-shoot of Reclaim the Streets, and which was then being targeted by another undercover, Rod Richardson. From 2003, Disarm DSEi was an umbrella group, with other groups, for instance, The Quakers and Women in Black, affiliating to the campaign. There was a large variety of activities including a conference, as well as different types of direct action, which included trying to prevent delegates and exhibits from reaching the arms fair. Different tactical strategies were employed on different days. For instance, some days were focused on Non-Violent Direct Action, which refers to those tactics of protest which are strictly pacifist.
The arms fair had always been controversial, in 2017, even the politically moderate Mayor of London said he wanted to stop the arms fair but did not have the powers to do it. Prior to this, in 2015 activists were acquitted in court as the district judge found 'compelling evidence that illegal arms were on sale at DSEI'.
'Jason Bishop' was involved with all of the counter-mobilisations which fell within his deployment: 1999; 2001; 2003 and 2005. In fact, Bishop, alongside a small handful of other organisers was one of the few common denominators over this entire period.. In 1999 and 2001, Bishop’s involvement was via Reclaim the Streets, and meetings during this period took place in pubs, next to Grays Inn Road and near Finsbury Park. Martin Hogbin, a corporate spy who infiltrated The Campaign Against The Arms Trade, also attended the meetings, normally arriving just before the meetings ended. From 2003, Disarm DSEi became an independent organising group in which Bishop was part of the logistics groups (or ‘logs’ group). Meetings took place at various venues from 2003, including The Swan Pub, Islington, London Action Resource Centre (LARC) and the Freedom Newspaper Offices.
Bishop had many roles within these mobilisations, including facilitating and taking minutes in meetings. He also utilised his old land rover to aid the logistics group he was part of and he took part in covert actions. Again, consistent with his 'tech' knowledge, he provided 'cracked' software to those who designed the flyers and posters for the mobilisation. Bishop attended mass days of action but remained peripheral in terms of direct confrontation with the police, or any attempt to enter the conference centre.
In 2001, just prior to DSEi on two squatted social centres were raided, 'The Dentist Factory', corner of Great Dover Street and Globe Street and another Social Centre at 126 Tooley Street, South-East London. Both were being used to make props and banners for the arms fair protests. The Dentist Factory had also been used to store material for the W.O.M.B.L.E.S. Bishop had prior knowledge of what the venues were being used for, though was not present during the raids, unlike fellow SDS officer Rod Richardson.
2002 and 2003
During 2002, in the run-up to the 2003 mobilisation, Bishop became a signatory for the Disarm DSEi bank account, thus committing an act of fraud as it was not in his real name. During this mobilisation, he attended meetings at a variety of venues, including the London Action Resource Centre, the Bar in the Royal Festival Hall and the offices of Freedom Newspaper in Whitechapel. Bishop advocated tactically targeting arms fair organisers Spearhead and Elsevier Reed, citing the successful Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign group as inspiration - a group that was itself targeted by undercover operatives, for instance by RC and Dave Evans (alias) Dave Evans. In papers disclosed in a seperate legal case, Bishop was identified as 'Subject Q' by the police during the protests.
In 2003, the police widely used 'stop and search' powers granted by Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 during the protests. Two people who were stopped and searched took legal action against the UK government, which resulted in a European Court of Human Rights judgement which found that their right to privacy (Article 8(2)) had been breached. In a submission to the Inquiry, activists who are taking part in the inquiry (core participants) stated that as a member of the Disarm DSEi logistics group, Bishop could well have had 'relevant (and undisclosed) involvement in the case'.
2004 and 2005
In December 2004, Bishop left the activist scene, (see Exit section below) therefore his involvement in the smaller 2005 DSEi mobilisation was more limited. However, he returned to London, again, in August 2005, in order to join the mobilisation in September. One activist recalled how he told her that he got stopped and searched - and was threatened with the confiscation of a small black box. He told the activist that it was just a 'wifi detector', but she now suspects it was some kind of surveillance device. Part of the arms fair included the showcasing of naval vessels. In response, activists attempted to block and disrupt this part of the exhibition on several occasions. In 2005 a 'boat action' was planned, however, the police had gained prior knowledge and was according to one activist: 'blown totally including all backup plans'. Both Martin Hogbin (a corporate spy who infiltrated The Campaign Against The Arms Trade) and Jason Bishop were involved in the planning of the action.
It is worth noting that during the DSEi mobilisations, undercover policing was not the only form of surveillance employed by the Metropolitan Police. Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) openly photographed and harassed protesters, calling them by name and continually filming and photographing them. For instance, in 2005 they recorded activists as they arrived at the convergence centre for the mobilisation. They also singled out specific protesters who were often followed for long periods of time and arrested for little, or no reason. One activist recalled when they and Bishop were followed all day by uniformed officers. The same activists who were targeted by SDS or NPOIU undercover officers were also the target of FIT officers. It is unknown whether information gained through covert policing informed who FIT officers' targeted, or vice versa. FIT teams were under the command of the Public Order Operational Command Unit (CO11). It was remarked upon by activists that Bishop, unlike almost all the others who were in the same organising groups never appeared as a 'person of interest' on FIT team 'spotter cards'(see below).
Also during 2004, in the run-up to the 2005 mobilisation, there was a suspected campaign of disinformation about the DSEI protests on UK Indymedia. Several activists thought the police were behind the posts (One commentator on the original post, accused the organisers of Disarm DSEi of being 'public schoolboys'; A known tactic of undercover officers was to exploit class tensions within groups). Activists discovered that the posts came from Government Secure Intranet known as Gateway 303, a state network which provides a secure proxy network behind which state agents can maintain their anonymity. Several of the protest organisers wrote a statement addressing the issue. However, Bishop persuaded them not to publish it. In 2011, The Intercept released leaked documents that revealed that GCHQ was involved in applying behavioural science techniques to manipulate public opinion online. This included work for NPOIU and 'monitoring domestic extremist groups'.
Other anti-militarist protests
Bishop also attended other anti-military protests. This included Farnborough Airshow in 2004, where protesters aimed to disrupt an event which included B-52 Bombers, just returned from the 2003 Iraq War. In this action, Bishop stayed overnight at the Reading Quakers Friends Meeting House. There was a blockade of buses trying to enter the airshow, in which Martin Hogbin was the drop-off driver. While Jason Bishop did not take part in this action, he did suggest replacing signs for the airshow with the ones that he had painted anti-war slogans on. In fact, Bishop had stayed up all night, making the signs. When going out to replace them, he and a genuine activist were stopped by the police. However, after Bishop talked to the police, they were left alone. The next day the placards were already replaced with the official signage.
In 2005, Bishop also attended a demonstration in Brighton in June 2005, aimed at arms manufacturer EDO-MDM. Fellow SDS officer Dave Evans was also on this action. This campaign, known as 'Smash EDO' was at the time being infiltrated by NPOIU undercover 'Marco Jacobs'. A temporary injunction severely restricting protests near the ED0-MDM factory had just been put in place in April 2005 which was at least partially based on information provided by the NPOIU and Sussex Police.
Fairford CoachesOn 22 March 2003, police from seven forces, acting under the direction of Gloucestershire Constabulary, stopped coaches carrying 120 protesters outside Lechlade, near RAF Fairford base. The protesters had been planning to join a legal demonstration against the 2003 Iraq war.
A report co-authored by Gloucestershire Weapons Inspectors, Berkshire Citizens Inspection Agency and Liberty described what happened:
- The coaches were led onto the M4 motorway, where it became apparent that the passengers were to be driven straight back to London. They were not allowed to stop, and passengers could not even visit the toilet en route. According to one passenger, 'The return journey to London was organised by the police to make us look like we were terrorists. A convoy of police accompanied our buses and the motorways were sealed off to the public. Even the roundabouts leading towards and away from the motorway were sealed off.' The buses were cordoned off from other vehicles. This obviously had the effect of preventing other drivers from seeing the makeshift placards the protesters had put in the coach windows with messages saying 'Help – we are being kidnapped' and 'Terrorists ahead and behind'.
A lengthy legal battle ensued, with a final House of Lord's judgement concluding that the police had unlawfully detained them, and had breached their rights to lawful assembly and freedom of movement. Gloucestershire police's justification for stopping and detaining the protesters was intelligence that members of the W.O.M.B.L.E.S. were on board. Bishop was involved with the hiring of the coaches.
On the day itself, Bishop was driving the minibus for the protestors' legal team which followed a different route to the coaches and therefore was not held by the police, one activist recalled that when the legal minibus passed a parked police car (tucked in a siding) Bishop commented on it. Further, not revealed to the courts was that NPOIU undercover Rod Richardson, who had infiltrated the W.O.M.B.L.E.S, was on board one of the coaches.
Within the context of The Inquiry, Sir John Mitting had previously stated Bishop's deployment was 'unremarkable'. However, Mitting had indicated if evidence emerged that Bishop was key in organising the coaches, or had privileged knowledge of the DSEi 'Stop and Search' civil case then he was prepared to review that assessment. (see in 'The Undercover Policing Inquiry').
Anti-GM and Earth First! Activities
During the period that Bishop was operating there was a significant anti-genetically modified food movement. This included a radical direct action element who 'trashed' genetically modified crops both overtly and covertly. Bishop was the first meeting of the London branch of the environmental direct action group Earth First! in 2003. He also attended several national Earth First gatherings between 2000 and 2003. This included driving to the Snowdonia Gathering in June 2000.  Just before leaving the RTS office in Finsbury Park, London they checked the tyres of the van and discovered they were slashed. Jim Boyling also attended this Earth First Gathering. In July 2000, Bishop took part in an anti-prison action organised by CAGE (an off-shoot of Earth First!) outside of a site for a planned women's prison in Ashford, Surrey. In 2003, activists recall him attending a workshop on activist security.
While during the period that Bishop infiltrated Earth First!, a number of GM 'decontaminations' took place and it is thought that Bishop took part in some of them. However, at present, we are unable to confirm the precise location or date of said actions and would very much like to hear from anyone with more detailed information.
G8 Scotland 2005
Between the 6th and 8th July 2005 , it was the UK's turn to host the G8 inter-governmental summit. This took place at the Gleneagles resort in Auchterarder, Scotland, alongside a number of counter-mobilisations.Dissent! was the libertarian and anarchist grouping which took an explicitly confrontational and anti-capitalist stance. 'Jason Bishop' targeted this network, attending some of the earlier organising meetings in 2004, and driving a minibus at the mobilisation itself which led to his arrest. Alongside Bishop, fellow undercover officers Dave Evans, Mark Kennedy, Lynn Watson and Marco Jacobs were also in attendance. Jacobs, Bishop and Kennedy were all in a logistics meeting a week prior to the mobilisation in which they would have been privy to a number of plans for direct action.
A Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies report published in 2018. stated that six officers were each deployed by respectively the Special Demonstration Squad and the NPOIU plus an additional six from the 'wider-cadre'. Also, 5 undercover officers were sent by Germany, who were under the command of NPOIU during the summit. Over 700 hundred arrests were made over the course of the summit, many being attributed to the NPOIU's Forward Intelligence Teams targeting of 'known' activists. Despite this extensive surveillance operation, The Chief Constable of Fife Constabulary at the time commented:' We learned not to know on a day-by-day basis what we would have pitched at us'.
Jason Bishop and 'Dave Evans' drove up to Scotland in Bishop's Land Rover. Bishop had been absent from the groups he had been targeting since December 2004. However, he returned to London in late June 2005, just before the G8 counter-mobilisation. Both of them stayed at Stirling Eco-Camp "Horizone" (as did corporate spy Martin Hogbin). The camp was the focus for many attending protesters, including many of the those who would be associated themselves with the Dissent! Network. This meant that several confrontational actions aiming to interrupt the summit was launched from there, this included protesters blocking the nearby motorway. The camp subsequently attracted substantial police attention, including multiple arrests at and near the camp.
Bishop and Evans Arrested
On the 6th July, the W.O.M.B.L.E.S. requested a lift from Glasgow to the Stirling eco-village. Bishop responded 'grumpily' to this request but went along in the vehicle which 'Dave Evans' was driving. The mini-bus was stopped 10 minutes after it picked up the W.O.M.B.L.E.S. A contemporaneous report described what happened:
- The bus had travelled just two blocks when they were suddenly blocked in and surrounded by five vans of riot police, some 12 police motorbikes and three vans of police dogs. A police helicopter circled overhead. The 11 people were arrested on suspicion of 'conspiracy to cause a breach of the peace' and then bundled into a police prison transporter van with tiny blacked out windows and individual cells. Over 100 officers are said to have been involved in the operation, most were reported to have not been wearing their identity numbers. The transporter was then escorted as part of a giant police motorcade with police bikes blocking of street entrances and junctions ahead, and vans providing cover and front and back of the 11 arrested suspects. Inside the prison transporter, many of the activists reported via mobile phones that they seemed to be the target of a kind of 'special forces operation'. One of the Wombles said that 'it felt like they thought [Osama] Bin Laden was in the minibus.
One of those arrested had their one-year-old child accompanying them. On arrest, the police threatened that if they did not find a responsible adult to pick him up, then he would be transferred to social services.
After being held in 'poor conditions' in two police stations, those arrested and charged with an 'indictable' (serious) version of 'Breach of the Peace' and they were then transported to Edinburgh Sheriffs Court. The defendants were told that they would not be released on bail and would be remanded . At 4 pm, it was announced that the charges were 'stayed' and they were all then released. However, Police harassment continued at the pub they went to afterwards, and during a confrontation with the police, three people were then arrested. The dropping of charges follows a pattern where undercover officers in which no charges are brought, or later suddenly dropped An example of this was Mark Kennedy's arrest at Hartlepool Nuclear power station in 2006. Significantly, according to former SDS officer and whistleblower Peter Francis, 'if there was any chance of the SDS officer going to prison, they would not go.' He further states 'I know of cases that were pulled because the SDS officer would have been charged with something serious'.
HN36 is the as yet unidentified Detective Chief Inspector who headed up the Special Demonstration Squad at the time, while HN53, was a Detective Inspector, and 'Second in Operational Command' of the SDS.
Bishop's exit plan was also in accordance with the SDS manual that suggested a 'phased withdrawal'. Sometime prior to his actual exit, Bishop said that he was going to live in the Netherlands with his girlfriend, 'Kalinder' (or 'Kalinda') whom he said he had met on a train in Europe while travelling with Dave Evans and disapproved of his involvement with radical activism. Bishop mentioned several times that he intended to make his living from picture framing when he arrived there. He originally left the activist scene and moved out of his house in London in December 2004, supposedly to the Netherlands. Prior to this, he had mentioned a connection to activism in the Netherlands as well as a flat there. In March 2005, a sister of an activist known to Bishop was travelling around Europe requested to stay at Bishop's Amsterdam flat. In an e-mail exchanged arranging the visit, Bishop said that the flat would be in 'chaos' as they had would have only recently moved in. However, on the visit, the flat was said to be appeared to be un-lived in. To date, checks have suggested there is no evidence that this was anything but a fabrication as he was unknown within activism in Holland.
After what seems to be a seven-month break from his deployment, Bishop returned to London in late June 2005, just prior to the G8 meeting in July. He then was recalled turning up again in London in late August 2005, just before the DSEi mobilisation. His last remembered appearance was in October, at the 2005 London Anarchist Bookfair. At the bookfair, he appeared to be in a state of distress, confiding that his partner had a miscarriage.This melodramatic ploy, as it must now be seen was in keeping with other 'exit' excuses which have included supposed mental breakdowns. This was the last anybody saw of him. People him remained in contact by email, but after six months, he stopped answering, causing them to worry for his welfare. By chance, some years after his deployment, an activist working at an Oysterband gig bumped into him and not being aware of any suspicions around him had a friendly conversation, expressing surprise that he had not seen him around for a while.
Suspicions and Confirmation
As with many of the undercover officers, revealed since 'Mark Kennedy's exposure, there was a reluctance by activists to believe that one of their friends was, in reality, an undercover police officer. However, the manner in which he 'completely disappeared' did raise concerns. In retrospect, activists also identified two key incidents which could have identified Bishop as a police infiltrator. The first was Bishops' non-appearance on the FIT spotter cards (the 'spotter cards' were a collection of named photographs of activists that police used as an aid in identifying them). This was despite that all the activists in the same group did appear on it, and he was known by name by FIT police officers. Secondly, was Bishops' presence on the high-profile arrest of the W.O.M.B.L.E.S. at the G8 in 2005, and subsequently, the charges being dropped.
While the connection between Boyling and Bishop was already known  it was not until Rob Evans and Paul Lewis' Undercover was published in 2013, and the connection between him and the anonymous 'bearded, stocky man' who was described as Jim Boyling' successor and Jason Bishop was confirmed. The book recounts an episode in which Bishop's predecessor Jim Boyling (aka 'Jim Sutton') was attending Kingston Green Fair in South-West London in 2003 and was told his then partner, Rosa, to hide as Boyling spotted a fellow undercover (Bishop) and was worried they would be recognised.
Rosa has provided more detail regarding this event. While an undercover, Boyling had relationships with at least three women that are known of. After his exit, he then re-entered the life of his last activist partner, Rosa, and on doing so, told her that though an officer, he had in fact converted to being a genuine activist and needed help to escape the police. This went hand-in-hand with other claims that he was the only one sent into spy on protest groups and that political groups were not spied up on. Given her personal and political background, she had wanted to help him leave the police. However, as part of this manipulation, he said such an escape put them in danger from his (former) colleagues, so there was a need for secrecy.
This narrative was disrupted when visiting the Kingston Green Fair, Boyling told Rosa she had to hide as he had seen an old friend of theirs who was not who he said he was. Rosa had encountered Jason at some point previously as an activist, so was able to recognise him when Boyling pointed him out, though could not recall his name. Boyling said he was totally shocked to see Bishop, as he had believed that Bishop had only been sent into the field to oversee Boyling's exit and not to continue infiltrating. Boyling insisted his planned escape from police, with Rosa's help, would be ruined as soon as Bishop saw them as he would report it to his supervisors.
At the time, Boyling's claims came across as credible, though it is now clear he never had any intention to leave the police and that this story was rather part of a wider web of deception and abuse he placed around Rosa. As part of this, Boyling later identified to Rosa other activists to be undercover police officers, names that were otherwise confirmed at a later stage by the Undercover Policing Inquiry and other means.
Following publication of the Undercover book, activists who had known Jason had been able to recognise him from the passage, leading them to go public via the Network for Police Monitoring (NetPol), on 25 July 2013.
Overlap with other undercover officers
Jim Boyling (aka 'Jim Sutton') was just finishing his deployment, which also included infiltrating RTS, while 'Jaqueline Anderson' was also doing so at the same time. At the time of Bishop's deployment, animal rights campaigns were being monitored by other undercover officers, including his one-time flatmate Dave Evans 1998-2005) and anti-fascist activity which was covered by 'Carlo Neri' (2000-2006). Bishop's deployment also coincided with that of Rod Richardson (1999-2003) whose paths would have crossed in both the Fairford Coaches episode, and at DSEi in 2001. It also overlapped with the beginning of Lynn Watson's and Mark Kennedy's deployment in 2002/3. Additionally, 'Simon Wellings' (who was the alias of an undercover police officer who infiltrated anti-globalisation group 'Globalise Resistance') was involved in organising the 2003 'Disarm DSEi' protests. 'Marco Jacobs' had was towards the beginning of his deployment which started in Brighton, before moving to Cardiff in 2005.
In addition, Martin Hogbin a corporate spy who worked for Threat Response International. He surveilled the Campaign Against The Arms Trade on behalf of British Aerospace from 1997 until his exposure in 2003.He worked alongside 'Jason Bishop' in the organising group for Disarm DSEi and attended private organising meetings at The Swan Pub, Islington. His relationship with Bishop was described as 'friendly but not close'.
Human Rights Complaint in Investigatory Powers Tribunal
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal hears complaints about surveillance by public bodies, including the police. This claim centres around the fact that police violated Kate Wilson's Human Rights when they deceived her into a long-term, intimate relationship with an undercover police officer, Mark Kennedy. In addition, the details also state that 'Wilson's right to privacy was also infringed by the extensive presence in her life of at least 6 Undercover Officers between 1998 and 2010', including 'Jason Bishop'. The latest hearing was scheduled for 3 October 2018.
In the Undercover Policing Inquiry
On 11 December 2017, Chairman, Sir John Mitting told legal representatives that by 22nd December 2017 responses should be submitted anonymity application orders for HN3.On 24 January 2018, it was announced that applications for restriction orders in terms of both cover name and the real name had been received. The Chairman said that he needs more information before issuing a 'minded to' note.
The anonymity application for HN3 was considered by the Chair of the Inquiry, Sir John Mitting, in his Minded-To note of 22 March 2018. According to Mitting, ‘HN3 is retired from the Metropolitan Police Service, but is still gainfully employed'. He also stated Bishop: ‘was deployed against three groups between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s’. On the 1 May 2018, the cover name of Jason Bishop was released by the Inquiry, and the aforementioned three groups were revealed to be: Reclaim the Streets, Disarm DSEi and Earth First! His deployment was dated as 1998-2006. This is different from the timeline that has been reconstructed from interviews with activists and other sources which dates it as starting in 1999 and ending in 2005.
In stating that the cover name would be released but the real name restricted, Mitting said:
- The deployments were unremarkable and give rise to little or no risk of violence from any member of the target groups. HN3 is concerned about the risk of harassment by them, a concern which is not irrational. If it were to materialise, it would interfere significantly with the private and family life of HN3. It is not necessary to run that risk. The cover name of HN3 will be published and will permit members of the target groups and others to provide information and give evidence about the deployments. Publication of the real name of HN3 is not necessary to permit that to happen or to enable the Inquiry to fulfil its terms of reference. In those circumstances, publication of the real name is neither proportionate nor justified under Article 8(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights ('the European Convention').
Given the details above in the profile, Mitting’s assessment of Jason Bishop’s deployment as ‘unremarkable’ is difficult to understand. In concluding that Bishop’s fear that he would face ‘harassment’ from the groups he infiltrated was a ‘rational’ one, Mitting is presumably referring to evidence presented in the ‘closed note’ that is not in the public domain.
On 3 July 2018, it was directed that any objections to Mitting's intention to restrict the real name to be made by 20 July 2018.
On 20 July 2018, in a response to this note, a statement was made on behalf of those activists participating in The Inquiry:
- In the case of Jason Bishop, the assertion [that his deployment was 'unremarkable'] is already demonstrably false. As the Inquiry is aware, Bishop is alleged to have been involved in the events surrounding the detention by police of coaches travelling to RAF Fairford in March 2003, which were the subject of a legal challenge, considered by all levels of court up to the House of Lords. As far as is presently known, Bishop’s involvement was concealed from the courts. It is also possible that Bishop, as a member of Disarm DSEi at the material time, had relevant (and undisclosed) involvement in another prominent case, R (Gillan) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  2 AC 307, which, was not only considered all the way up to the House of Lords domestically, but was also adjudicated on by the European Court of Human Rights. He is also known to have been arrested twice in his undercover identity - once driving a van of manure to the Guerrilla Gardening Mayday in 2000 and once at the G8 in Scotland in 2005 as part of a large-scale police operation. It is understood that on that occasion charges were dropped shortly before the defendants were due to appear in court. He is also known to have taken part in many instances of direct action involving criminal damage, both as a driver and as a participant. This is in no sense an 'unremarkable' deployment.
While on 30 July 2018, the UCPI issued 'Ruling 11'. which stated that HN3's (Bishop) real identity will not be released. In the ruling Mitting also stated:
- It is submitted that my observation that the deployments of HN3 were unremarkable is 'already demonstrably false'. I am prepared to, and do, qualify that observation so that it reads 'apparently unremarkable'. The allegation that HN3 was 'involved in the events surrounding the detention by police of coaches travelling to RAF Fairford in March 2003' is, on the information available to me, disputed. It is one of the issues which may have to be explored in the substantive phase of the Inquiry. If it were then to be established that he did play a part in the events which gave rise to two legal challenges of constitutional significance, and the part which he played was itself significant then the position may have to be reviewed. I have no present reason to believe that it will have to be.
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- W.O.M.B.L.E.S. is the acronym for: 'White Overalls Movement Building Libertarian Effective Struggles'
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- Undercover Research Group: Conversation with Rosa, 2 & 12 September 2018. Note:Rosa is the pseudonym of a political activist who was active in Reclaim the Streets and other groups, and who was targeted by undercover officer Jim Boyling for a relationship, while simultaneously targeting her as a political activist whom he reported back on. She has been granted an anonymity order by the courts to protect her identity. For more of her account see Police Spies Out Of Lives - https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/our-stories/rosas-story
- When the man she believed to be Jim Sutton vanished from her life, Rosa, concerned for his well-being, had begun a search for him using the few clues he had left behind. This inadvertently led her to the SDS headquarters, though she did not know what was at the time. It was shortly after this happened, that he made his re-entry into her life, beginning the manipulation of her into an abusive relationship. The events at Kingston Green Fair were the start of the unravelling of the Boyling's lies to Rosa. Though each time something came up his explanations were plausible in the moment, they eventually began to conflict with each other. Rosa eventually escaped to a refugee, along with the two children she had by Boyling. By this stage, she had realised that his claims of wanting to leave the police were no longer credible. It is not known if it was because she chanced upon the SDS headquarters that he was sent back into her life - deliberately, or whether it was simply a coincidence. At one point, before she escaped to the refuge, she was visited at home by Boyling's boss, former SDS head, Bob Lambert and another SDS officer, in what was described by another ex-SDS officer as a 'containment exercise'. This and other material cast considerable doubt on it being a coincidence.
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