Lynn Watson Undercover Timeline

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This is a chronologically-ordered breakdown of all known activity by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) police officer ‘Lynn Watson’ during her undercover deployment 2002-2008, plus subsequent activity which came to light following her public exposure in 2011.

Also see:


  • May 2002: Appears in Worthing, East Sussex, and makes contact with Protect Our Woodland campaign to preserve Titnore Woods, claiming to be a care home worker from Bournemouth.[1] Possibly attends demonstration on 26 May.[2] Not heard of again after passing contact details to an organiser.[3]


  • Sometime in 2003: Appears at the Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp, a long-established anti-nuclear protest encampment outside the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment military base in Berkshire.[4][3] She attends weekly camping events, joins the Block the Builders[5] non-violent direct action group[6] (and is said by one commentator to have been 'very active' in it[7]), takes part in blockades at both Aldermaston and Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland as part of a Trident Ploughshares affinity group,[6] and attends anti-war demonstrations.[8][9]


  • ‘Since at least 2004’: Whilst ‘Lynn Watson’ continues to be a presence at the Aldermaston protests, anti-nuclear group Action AWE notes that Ministry of Defence Police's Ian Caswell (identified by FITwatch and others as a surveillance officer seconded to the NPOIU[10][6]) makes his first known excursions to Aldermaston and nearby Burghfield weapons facilities to observe protesters.[9]
  • Early 2004: After hinting to friends in the women's camp that she needed to get away from a bad relationship, and that her employment agency had offered her care home work up north, she moves to Leeds, first on the outskirts of the city[11] and then later moving to Hyde Park[4][8]
  • 18 March 2004: Attends convergence centre at church in Leeds in preparation for a large-scale anti-militarist ‘Block the Base’ action at the Menwith Hill US military base in Yorkshire early the next morning, organised by Yorkshire CND with support from CND, CAAB and Trident Ploughshares.[12] According to a commenter on Indymedia UK she joined an “‘odds and sods’ affinity group” but didn't make it onto the actual action after organisers apparently brought forward the action time by two hours, and she was not at the departure point.[13]
  • 2 July 2004: Takes part in as day of CIRCA[14] clown action in Leeds. This includes first the occupation of local Labour Party offices (and constituency base for Hilary Benn MP) at Derek Fatchett House in Blenheim Terrace, LS2, and later a demonstration outside an Armed Forces Careers Office in Bond Court, LS1.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]
  • 4 July 2004: Part of CIRCA clown bloc at Campaign for Accountability of American Bases]]-called demonstration at Menwith Hill spy base, Yorkshire.[15][23][24]
  • September 2004: Leeds Action for Radical Change (Leeds ARC or LARC for short) announces in its newsletter The Rabble Rouser that “We're in the process of raising funds and finding city centre premises for a social centre right in the heart of Leeds,” and invites people to get involved.[25] LARC subsequently secures a £10,000 grant, which is used to secure a former pork pie factory, later to play host to a number of political groups and campaigns - and notably those preparing to protest at the July 2005 Gleneagles G8 summit[26] - under the name ‘The Common Place’.[8]
  • 2 November 2004: Becomes founding director of ‘Leeds Social Centre Ltd’, a limited liability private company set up to run The Common Place social centre in Leeds.[27]


  • 2-8 July 2005: Protests against 31st G8 summit meeting held at Gleneagles in Scotland, largely coordinated through international anti-authoritarian network Dissent!, in which ‘Watson’ is involved through the UK Action Medics collective.[4][7][28]
  • 17-21 August 2005: Attends Earth First! Summer Gathering in Derbyshire.[7]


  • 15-17 July 2006: 32nd G8 summit meeting takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia; ‘Watson’ (who does not attend - possibly because Russian authorities would not issue a visa in light of her false documents[29]) is reputedly the contact person for UK Action Medics involvement through the Dissent! international network[7] (or else the contact person for UK Action Medics training which took place in Ukraine before the actual summit[30]). Protests at the summit are muted, with between dozens and hundreds of activists preemptively arrested and gaoled before the event.[31]
  • 26 August-4 September 2006: Participated in the first Camp for Climate Action, at the Drax power plant near Selby in North Yorkshire.[32] Working as part of a 'small group who planned the site take' several days before the official opening,[7] she also had a role driving people to the site - as did fellow NPOIU spy Mark Kennedy.[26][33]
During an action on Thursday 31st August, activists attempted to storm the grounds of Drax through holes cut in the fencing with tools hidden there the previous night, with both ‘Watson’ and Kennedy taking part. Kennedy was caught and beaten by police officers before he could effect entry.[34] ‘Watson’ (who was subsequently arrested alongside another activist for her efforts) 'was present at the incident but went through the hole in the fence minutes before the she wasn't actually a witness' to Kennedy's assault. [35]
Notably, the Drax Climate Camp was the location for the first and only known sexual liaison by ‘Watson’ with an activist whilst undercover.[36]


  • Early 2007: Introduces new boyfriend to Leeds activists friends, ‘Sean’, whom she says is a locksmith from Northampton.[37]
  • 14-21 August 2007: 2nd Climate Camp, Heathrow - again active,[26] again part of ‘site take’ planning team.[7][38]
  • 17 August 2007: Arrested at the Climate Camp related protest by Plane Stupid at the Department for Transport office building in Whitehall, central London.[4][39][40][41][38]
  • 1 September 2007: Resigns as director of ‘Leeds Social Centre Ltd’.[27]
  • Late 2007: Tells friends she is suffering from depression, is concerned she has a drink problem, and pulls out of a planned six week cycling tour of Spain.[42]
  • Late 2007: Introduces new boyfriend ‘Paul’, supposedly a photographer from Coventry.[42]


  • January 2008: Announces that she is moving to Coventry to move in with ‘Paul’.[43]
  • May 2008: Supposedly moves to Lithuania with ‘Paul’.[11][43]


No known activity by ‘Lynn Watson’.


  • July 2010: By chance bumps into activist friend from Leeds whilst at pub in Swanage, Dorset. Acts uncomfortable, declines to give her phone number or address, is accompanied by suspicious men, and is told people thought she had been an undercover officer.[44]
  • October 2010: Confirmed as an undercover police officer by Mark Kennedy when he is confronted with a wealth of evidence regarding his own false identity by activists in Nottingham.[45][46]
  • November 2010: [three weeks after Nottingham] Again confirmed (if more obliquely) as an undercover police officer by Mark Kennedy, this time in a telephone call with Dr Simon Lewis, one of the six defendants in the upcoming Ratcliffe raid ‘denier’ trial.[47][48]


  • 10 January 2011: Publicly exposed (but initially unnamed) in the wake of the Mark Kennedy story breaking in the mainstream media.[45]
  • 12 January 2011: Confirmed as “an officer from a police force in the south-east seconded to the National Public Order Intelligence Unit” by “senior police sources” in a story in The Guardian, which “[a]t the request of intelligence officials” withholds identifying details about the woman, “who is still a serving officer”, and so refers to her only as ‘Officer A’.[26]
  • 13 January 2011: Further exposed in The Guardian, still referred to only as ‘Officer A’ but this time with a pixelated photograph of her face - again at the request of “senior police officers”.[49]
  • 13 January 2011: Named and pictured in the comments accompanying a post on the Indymedia UK website which reproduces and expands upon the same day's Guardian article.[50]
  • 19 January 2011: Named and fully pictured for the first time in the mainstream media in an article in The Guardian,[4] having been - along with ‘Marco Jacobs’, who until then had been referred to by The Guardian only as ‘Officer B’ - 'extracted from undercover roles in other investigations'.[51]
  • 22 March 2011: It is announced that The Common Place is to close, one of many reasons being the fact that 'one of our founding directors was not who they claimed to be and was in fact a member of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit'.[52]
  • 20 April 2011: In an article in The Times it is claimed that she had been “deployed in 15 operations involving serious organised crime, including drug trafficking and gunrunning”, that “three covert operations against crime gangs in the East Midlands were abandoned because Ms Watson’s identity became known”, that she had “now been afforded ‘protected person status’ under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act” and moved to a different part of the country with a new identity under armed police protection because of threats to her life from criminal gangs” since her exposure in January.[53]

Also see:


  1. Paul Lewis & Rob Evans, ‘Met facing mounting crisis as activist spying operation unravels’, The Guardian, 20/10/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  2. unknown author, ‘350 march on Titnore!’, The Pork-Bolter number 46, July 2002 (accessed 15 May 2014).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p216.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Rajeev Syal & Martin Wainwright, ‘Undercover police: Officer A named as Lynn Watson’, The Guardian, 19/01/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  5. The 'Block The Builders campaign formally started on Hiroshima Day (7 August), 2003 - see Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp: Speaking Tour 2003,, undated (accessed 12 October 2015).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign), ‘Domestic Extremists Or Domestic Goddesses?’, AWPC website, 8 February 2011 (accessed 22 May 2014).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 ABC Anarres, ‘Three undercover political Police unmasked as infiltrators into UK Anarchist, Anti-Fascist and Climate Justice movements’, Indymedia UK, 19/01/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p217.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Dr Sian Jones, ‘Of sledgehammers and nuts: counter-terrorism and anti-nuclear protest’, (campaign website), 2014 (accessed 16 May 2014).This article also discusses general monitoring of the peace movement campaigns against Faslane and Aldermaston.
  10. admin, ‘Trident Ploughshares pacifists are Domestic Extremists??!’, FITwatch blog, 8 November 2010 (accessed via 16 May 2014).
  11. 11.0 11.1 collective, ‘ statement on Lynn Watson’, blog, 19 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  12. IMC Leeds Bradford, ‘Mass blockade at Menwith Hill US base, Friday March 19th’, Indymedia UK, 19 March 2004 (accessed 15 May 2014)."
  13. I Saw You, ‘2004 Leeds’, Indymedia UK, 15 January 2011 (accessed 16 May 2014).
  14. CIRCA, ‘Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army’, CIRCA website homepage, 2007 (accessed 22 May 2014).
  15. 15.0 15.1 journeymanpictures, ‘Undercover Clown Cop: Lynn Watson – UK’, YouTube, 07/02/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  16. Channel 4 News, ‘'Undercover police officer' filmed in clown costume’, Channel 4 News website, 25 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  17. Paul Lewis, Guy Grandjean & Rob Evans, ‘Police spy Lynn Watson filmed in clown costume at anti-war protest’, The Guardian, 25/01/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  18. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p214-215.
  19. circa, ‘CIRCA Anti-Official Communique #3’, Indymedia UK, 3 July 2004 (accessed 15 May 2014).
  20. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, ‘Met counter-terrorism chief to take over protest spy unit’, The Guardian, 25/01/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  21. CIRCA, ‘More CIRCA pics & recruitment activities’, Sheffield Indymedia, 3 July 2004 (accessed 20 September 2014).
  22. Sheffield IMC, ‘Insurgent Clowns on Patrol in Yorkshire’, Indymedia UK, 6 July 2004 (accessed 20 September 2014).
  23. IMC Leeds Bradford, ‘Independence day at Menwith Hill’, Indymedia UK, 7 July 2004 (accessed 15 May 2014).
  24. xpyda, ‘independence from america 04-07-04’,, 4 July 2004 (accessed 20 September 2014).
  25. unknown author, ‘A Radical new free space opening in Leeds centre this autumn’, The Rabble Rouser no. 4, September 2004 (accessed via, 16 May 2014).
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Paul Lewis, Rob Evans & Martin Wainwright, ‘Second police officer to infiltrate environmental activists unmasked’, The Guardian, 12/01/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Companies House, ‘Ms Lynn Watson’ (company director profile),, 2014 (accessed 12 May 2014).
  28. UK Action Medics, ‘UK Action Medics’, UK Action Medics homepage, 2006 (accessed 22 May 2014).
  29. Matthias Monroy, ‘Using false documents against “Euro-anarchists”: exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police operations’, Statewatch Journal Volume 21 Number 2, 2011 (accessed 23 April 2014).
  30. murp, ‘Lynn G8 Russia correction’, Sheffield Indymedia, 18 January 2011 (accessed 24 May 2014).
  31. Boud, Doldrums, Neutralizer, Szajd, Rabbinity, Brian McNeil, Cirt & Anonymous101, ‘Dozens arrested in leadup to St Petersburg G8 Summit’, Wikinews website, last revised 7 July 2008 (accessed 22 May 2014).
  32. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p220.
  33. Paul Lewis & Rob Evans, ‘Police spies court case suggest sexual relations with activists were routine’, The Guardian, 17/01/13 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  34. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p261-262.
  35. Tilly Gifford, David, Melissa Jones, Gemma Larsen & Eveline, ‘Mark Kennedy: A chronology of his activities’, Powerbase website, last amended 18 February 2013 (accessed 22 May 2014).
  36. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p221
  37. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, pp221-222
  38. 38.0 38.1 Solomon Hughes, ‘The long arm (and big feet) of the law…’, Morning Star, 27 January 2011 (accessed via 25 May 2011).
  39. mini mouse, ‘Campers Glue on to DfT’, Indymedia UK, 17 August 2007 (accessed 16 May 2014).
  40. Werewolf, ‘More pics from today's DfT protest’, Indymedia UK, 17 August 2007 (accessed 16 May 2014).
  41. Camp for Climate Action, ‘Climate Activists Blockade Department For Transport To Stop Airport Expansion’, Indymedia UK, 17 August 2007 (accessed 16 May 2014).
  42. 42.0 42.1 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p222.
  43. 43.0 43.1 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p224.
  44. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p234-238.
  45. 45.0 45.1 Paul Lewis, Rob Evans & Martin Wainwright, ‘Mark Kennedy knew of second undercover eco-activist’, The Guardian, 10/01/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  46. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p309.
  47. Richard Watson, ‘Newsnight report about Mark Kennedy’, Newsnight, BBC2, 10 January 2011 (accessed 15 April 2014).
  48. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p312.
  49. Paul Lewis, Rob Evans & Vikram Dodd, ‘Revealed: Second undercover police officer who posed as activist’, The Guardian, 13/01/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  50. quiteliketheguardianactually, ‘Officer A’, Indymedia UK, 13/01/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  51. Paul Lewis, Rob Evans & Rowenna Davis, ‘Undercover policeman married activist he was sent to spy on’, The Guardian, 19/01/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  52. emma_culturevulture, ‘The Common Place is closing’, The Culture Vulture, 27 March 2011 (accessed 12 September 2014).
  53. Sean O'Neill, ‘Police infiltrator in fear for her life after gang cover is blown’, The Times, 20/04/11 (accessed 10 May 2014). O'Neill is a member of the Crime Reporters' Association, known for its closeness to the policing establishment.