N officers

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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 the
Undercover
Policing Inquiry
N Officers list
Description: A list of N & HN cyphers used to designate individual officers in the Inquiry and by Operation Herne

Police officers cited in the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) are generally designated by a cypher / nominal starting with N or HN followed by a number. The practice of assigning these cyphers was begun in by the Metropolitan Police inquiry Operation Herne which investigated the activities of the Special Demonstration Squad undercovers. It was subsequently adopted by Mark Ellison for his Review and the UCPI, both of which draw heavily on the material assembled by Operation Herne. The practice was also taken up by Operation Elter, investigating the National Public Order Intelligence Unit. The system appears to have changed in 2017, when the 3 August 2017 rulings and direction of the new Inquiry Chair, John Mitting, began using the 'HN' label, though the associated numbers appear to be unchanged.[1]

The N number system appears to be applied across the board for police officers regardless of force, position or involvement with undercover policing. A few have since been identified, but many remain anonymous and as such few details of them are know. Except where profiled elsewhere, this page collates what is known of them and links to relevant documents, including relevant procedural issues within the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Last updated September 2017

N series officers

Cypher Name Status Notes
HN2 unknown UCPI needs more details before making decision on restricting the cover and real name; also awaiting NH2 to appoint a legal representative.[1][2]
SDS UCO. Application from MPS over restriction on publishing real name only; officer not in position to confirm whether wider restriction is to be sought over the cover name, and open version of material relating to HN2 has yet to be agreed.[3]
Mentioned in Herne 1 as a former SDS undercover and later a cover officer, now retired:[4]
  • 3.4: "According to N2 efforts would be made to research the existence of close family members. Names that were too unusual or too common would be discounted, as too would cases where the deceased had died in unusual or memorable circumstances. In preference, children were chosen that would have died between four (4) and eight (8) years of age and would be of broadly the same age as the UCO."
  • 4.4: "... he found himself in a situation where he had penetrated an organisation and was then asked by the group to help trace a mole among them."
N5 John Dines Confirmed.[5] SDS UCO
HN7 unknown Subject to restriction order on real and cover name.[1] SDS UCO. Deployed in late 1980s and early 1990s to three groups. Unconnected with his undercover deployment he sustained a significant head injury while a police officer. This injury and an unrelated condition have caused significant mental and personal problems, subject to a report by Prof. George Fox - who concludes there is a 'significant' ('highly likely to occur') risk of suicide if HN7's real or cover name were published.[6]


Separate ruling without hearing granted HN7 anonymity, based on medical evidence.[1] "[Mitting] has therefore made a final determination based on medical evidence which cannot be properly disputed."[3] Mitting in his ruling on anonymity states the risk to suicide is one he is not prepared to take, and even if that risk were not to materialise, notes "the mental distress which would be occasioned to him would amount to a significant interference in with his right to respect for his private life" under Article 8 human rights and "The need to arrive at that truth in relation to his deployment is unlikely to provide that justification. There is likely to be a good deal of other open evidence of similar and contemporaneous deployments from which conclusions can be drawn".[6] See also Open application for restriction order for HN7.

N9 unknown An SDS officer mentioned by N81 in his interview: "N9 later told me that it was quite usual for SDS management to arrange meetings between operatives and outside persons at the management’s homes. This was because such persons would not be able to attend SDS safe houses." (Ellison, p. 232).[7]
N10 Bob Lambert Confirmed.[8] SDS UCO & manager. Role in meeting between Richard Walton and N81 discussed in Herne II[9] and the Ellison Review.[10]

In March 2016 a restriction order application and supporting documents were filed on his behalf seeking some restriction on personal details being released by the Inquiry: Open Application, Personal Statement (open version), Draft Order. In October 2016, Pitchford issued a 'Minded-To' indicating he was willing to grant most of the order sought. Objections were to be received by 3 November 2016, but no final order is readily found on the Inquiry website.
Represented by Slater & Gordon.

N14 Jim Boyling Confirmed.[8] SDS UCO. In March 2016 a restriction order application and supporting documents were filed on his behalf seeking some restriction on personal details being released by the Inquiry: Open Application, Draft Order. In October 2017, Pitchford issued a 'Minded-To note indicating he would grant the order. Objections were to be received by 3 November 2016, but no final order is readily found on the Inquiry website. Mentioned in passing in Herne 1 (para. 2.1).[4]
Represented by Slater & Gordon.
HN15 unknown UCPI needs more details before making decision on restricting details.[1][2] SDS UCO. Mentioned by Lambert as an SDS UCO who 'would have involvement in Stephen Lawrence campaign issues' (Ellison page 214).[10]

No application from MPS, but in March 2016 NH15's lawyer had submitted an application to restrict real and cover names. The lawyers have since notified the Inquiry that a supplement to the application may be made on receipt of a final risk assessment from the MPS. The Inquiry has also received additional evidence, but is awaiting the further application before publishing anything.[3] March 2016 application documents: personal statement (gisted), open application, draft order and risk assessment (gisted).
Represented by Slater & Gordon.

HN16 unknown Minded to: closed session hearing to be held 'due to sensitivity of material being considered';[1] SDS. Closed session to hear restriction order application will take place after a further risk assessment, to be submitted by 1 September 2017. "Detailed factors particular to this officer's circumstances require them to be considered at a closed hearing."[2] Legal representative (not MPS) applied to restrict cover and real name. Inquiry is awaiting final risk assessment from MPS before open versions of all docs will be published, though some documents (personal statement (gisted), open application, draft order and risk assessment (gisted)) previously published in March 2016.[3]
Represented by Slater & Gordon.
N17 unknown SDS UCO. Mentioned by Lambert as a contemporary of Peter Francis (early/mid 1990s) who infiltrated far right groups (Ellison, p. 214).[10]
N24 unknown SDS Management. N81 stated to Op. Herne: 'I was informed, at the height of the Macpherson Inquiry, that my reporting was going straight to Sir Paul Condon’s desk each morning via N24, and N127 (SDS Sgt) passed on to me from N24 congratulations from the Commissioner for your excellent reporting...' (Ellison, p. 232).[10]
HN26 unknown Minded-To: A closed session for on HN26's restriction order applications to be held 'due to sensitivity of material being considered'[1] / 'detailed factors particular to this officer's circumstances'[2] and that NH26 should be present or at least contactable throughout the hearing.[11]. SDS UCO (early/mid 1990s).

August 2017 document: MPS have applied to restrict real name only, while there is an additional application received from NH26's solicitor (S&G) to restrict both cover and real names. The Inquiry has also received expert medical evidence (Dr Walter Busuttil, fully redacted), personal statement (fully redacted) & risk assessment (Graham Walker, mostly redacted). HN26 has not cooperated with the risk assessment, refusing to meet the risk assessor and providing information only through his lawyer..[12]

A previous application for anonymity had been made in March 2016:[3] open application, S&G application, personal statement (gisted), draft order, and risk assessment (gisted)

They were a Special Branch officer prior to being recruited to SDS and 'promised lifelong anonymity along with personal safety assurances'.[12] According to the 1994/1995 SDS annual review, cited by Herne I, N26 was the first officer to obtain a completely fictitious identity with the practice of using identities of deceased children being phased out starting November 1994 (5.4).[4]

Represented by Slater & Gordon.

N27 unknown SDS Undercover. Ellison cites Lambert's interview with Operation Herne as saying: "N27 (also deployed into a different left-wing group) and would have come across Peter Francis, certainly both were at Welling…" (Ellison, p. 214).[10]
N40 unknown Likely SDS officer. Mentioned in relation to how information from the SDS, particularly on the identities of protestors, was passed on to the rest of the police (Herne II, 13.4, 24.1.3).[9]
N43 Peter Francis Confirmed. Mentioned in Herne I (3.5, 3.6) though not by real name; his identity can be inferred as he was the only former undercover who provided a video interview to the Guardian.[4]
N52 unknown SDS sergeant, who in 1998 received the memo from Bob Lambert on the meeting between Richard Walton and N81 (Ellison Review, p. 229).[10]
N53 unknown SDS Management. Authored a series of internal memos in 2002 in relation to a joint operation with the National Criminal Intelligence Service known as Op. Wisdom - in relation to the use of the 'Jackal run' process of using a deceased person's identity to obtain passports. "N53 explained that he believed that between 1968 and 2002 there had been one hundred and two (102) SDS officers who had been provided with covert identities. N53’s documentation stated that the majority of these UCO’s would have used a deceased child’s identity." (Herne I, 5.4 & 6.2).[4] Mentioned as an ex-SDS Detective Inspector in relation to material being passed onto other units: Another ex-Detective Inspector, N53, told Herne: “The SDS retained nothing that would betray its identity” (Ellison, p. 201).[10] Briefly mentioned in relation to computerisation of SDS / Special Branch records circa 1998 (Herne II, 13.1).[9]
HN58 unknown Minded-To: cover name known but UCPI minded to restrict it and real name.[1][2] " SDS UCO & manager. "HN58 is now aged over 60. From 1997 to 2001, HN58 had a managerial position in the Special Demonstration Squad, having earlier being deployed as as an undercover officer. The publication of any details about the deployment would give rise to some risk to HN58's personal safety. Further, in a report dated 18 January 2017 Professor Fox states that the publication of the cover name creates a slight risk of causing a stress reaction recognised in the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. It is is not necessary to fulfil the Inquiry's terms of reference to run these risks. What matters is the evidence which HN58 can given about the discharge of HN58's managerial duties and evidence which can be given by others about it. The identity of HN58 is know to those who can do so. The cogency of HN58's evidence and theirs will not be diminished by the use of a cypher. It is likely that HN58 will have to give evidence from behind a screen. Closed reasons supplement this paragraph." ('Minded To' of 3 Aug 2017, para 4).[2] Open applications from MPS & HN58's lawyer to restrict cover and real names, personal statement, expert medical report & additional threat assessments published.[3]

March 2016 application: open application, draft order, personal statement (gisted) & risk assessment (gisted).

August 2017 application: open application for restriction order, open supplementary application for restriction order, open risk assessment (David Reid), medical statement (Prof. G. C. Fox; fully redacted)

On recruitment as UCO: "There was a lot of secrecy about the SDS and N58 states that people didn't talk unnecessarily. N58 had no idea of the existence of the SDS when N58 first went to Special Branch. N58 gradually became aware because people N58 knew 'disappeared' for a number of years before returning." On being recruited into the SDS he received a home visit where he was assured of lifetime anonymity. He used the identify of a dead child. He also attended twice weekly meetings with his supervisors while undercover.[13]

Head of SDS in August 1998 as Detective Chief Inspector, when he received Lambert's report on the meeting between N81 and Richard Walton. In response he commented: "An excellent meeting and a good example of the strides N81 has made over the last 12 months" (Ellison, page 229). Author of an SDS Intelligence Update in September 1998, titled 'Extremist involvement in the Stephen Lawrence Campaign' where he wrote: "N81’s unique insight into the behind-the-scenes machinations of the Lawrence campaign has also proved invaluable to A/DI Walton who is currently attached to the Stephen Lawrence review team" (Ellison, page 229).[10]

A core participant in the Inquiry, represented by Slater & Gordon.

N67 unknown SDS UCO (1981-1984). Used dead child identity; said at time of deployment there was no training manual but there was a 'best practice' reference folder (Herne I, 7.4 & 7.5).[4]
HN68 unknown Minded-To: real name cannot be published.[2] SDS UCO & managerial; deceased. Deployed against groups from 1968 to 1974. Managerial position in SDS 1982-84.[2]

Cover name to be published, however Mitting states: "As in the case of the living officers cited it is unlikely that the publication of his real name would prompt the giving or production of evidence necessary to permit the Inquiry to fulfil its terms of reference. Evidence about the discharge of his managerial duties can be given by reference to his cypher. The identity of HN68 is known to those who can give such evidence. Publication of his real name would be likely to interfere with the right of his widow to respect for her private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the European Convention’). It is unlikely that such interference would be justified under Article 8(2). The possibility that disclosure of his cover name might interfere with her right is nil or negligible. Closed reasons accompany this note."[2]

The MPS have submitted an application to restrict N68's real name, a witness statement from his widow and an open risk assessment (Mark Veljovic). The above information on N68 comes from Mitting's 'Minded-To' note, and does not appear in the risk assessment.

As he deceased, HN68 is not a core participant.

N69 unknown SDS Chief Inspector (1986-1987). In his statement to Op. Herne stated '…new recruits were instructed on how to go about obtaining false birth certificates. They would obtain details of a deceased person of a similar age from Somerset House and then use those details to go about creating their legend.' (Herne I, 3.1)[4]
N72 unknown SDS. Provided evidence that N81's tasking to spy on the Lawrence family came from Commissioner Stevens (Ellison, p. 253; Herne II, 21.1.15 & 21.2).[9] Operation Herne told Ellison that N72 did not serve with SDS until after the Macpherson Inquiry so his account should be treated as hearsay; Stevens also denied this (Ellison, p. 253).[10]
N78 unknown SDS UCO. Joined Special Branch in 1986 and SDS in 1991. Deployed as an undercover into left wing groups Summer 1991 to 1995, including some near the Lawrence campaign; had left the SDS by 1996 (Herne II, 12.2; Ellison, 6.4). Aware of Peter Francis' role; said he heard nothing indicating material to smear the Lawrences was being sought (Herne II, 21.1.14; Ellison, 6.3(p), 6.4). Considerable material from him covered in section 6.4 of the Ellison Review (Vol.1).[9]
HN81 / N81 unknown Minded-To: Really name cannot be published; closed session hearing over cover name to be held 'due to sensitivity of material being considered' - directions to be given separately.[1][2] SDS UCO. Referred to extensively in the Ellison Review in relation to the targeting of the family of Stephen Lawrence. Mitting: "One of the reasons for setting up the Inquiry was to investigate these issues. I can at present see no means of resolving disputed questions of fact about them without the cover name of HN81 being published. One of the issues which I may have to determine is whether or not the group against which HN81 was deployed was steered towards the Lawrence family campaign by HN81. For others to be able to give evidence about that issue, they would have to know the cover name. HN81 is understandably concerned that revelation of the cover name may lead to identification of the real name. This has had, and continues to have, an impact on HN81’s mental health. According to Dr Walter Busuttil, a consultant psychiatrist, in a report dated 15 February 2017, the impact has been significant and will be severe if the cover name is disclosed. HN81’s situation has also had an impact on the health and well-being of HN81’s partner. Their right to respect for their private and family life, including health and personal integrity, under Article 8 of the European Convention will be infringed unless the interference is justified under Article 8(2). The issue is both important and difficult. I propose, therefore, to take the exceptional course of conducting a closed hearing at which I can receive representations by or on behalf of HN81 and discuss possible means of reconciling HN81’s legitimate interests with those of the Inquiry. If necessary, I will thereafter invite representations from non-state core participants, if necessary at an open hearing. Closed reasons supplement this paragraph."[2] MPS & N81's lawyers have submitted applications for restriction orders on real and cover names, personal statements, expert medical report and additional threat assessments - open versions now published (Aug 2017); some material previously published in March 2016.[3] Resulting from his Minded-To note, Mitting issued a direction that there should be a closed hearing to (a) evaluate the risk to N81 and their partner, (b) how they can be protected from that risk if the cover name is disclosed and (c) if the risk cannot be taken how the issues can be fully investigated by the Inquiry. It is desired that N81 attends the hearing, but it is not ordered. Some bits of notification to be provided to the Inquiry no later than 17 August 2017.[11]

March 2016 application documents: open application & S&G application, draft order, personal statement (gisted) & risk assessment (gisted)

August 2017 documents: open application for restriction order (MPS), open supplementary application for restriction order (S&G), open risk assessment (David Reid), open medical assessment

On joining the SDS he received a home visit from two officers who affirmed he would have anonymity for the rest of their career. During his time undercover he would have twice weekly meetings with his handlers, and following the end of his deployment he returned to Special Branch.[14]

N81 is a core participant and is represented by Slater & Gordon.

N85 Roger Pearce Confirmed.[15] SDS UCO & manager. Head of Special Branch and Director of Intelligence for Metropolitan Police Service. See under profile for mentions of him in Herne I and the Ellison Review.
N86 unknown SDS Head from 1993 to 1996, as Detective Chief Inspector; responsiblities included SDS recruitment & tasking. Author of a dcocument of 24 Sept 1993 referring to a 'new, violent anti-fascist group forming within Youth Against Racism'. Also authored the 1993/1994 SDS Annual Report which discussed left-wing campaigning around the death of Stephen Lawrence.
Left SDS for another post on 11 April 1996. On 21 April 1997 he took temporary control for six months of S Squad (the division which contained the SDS) due to illness of its Suptintendent.
Refused to provide a statement to Operation Herne. However, as he is central to the claims of Peter Francis regarding racism in the SDS and the tasking against the Lawrence family, N86 provided a statement for the Ellison Review in which he denied much of what Francis said. (Ellison 6.5 & 6.9(c)-(d); Herne II, 26.1.19)[10][4]
N89 unknown SDS UCO; infiltrated far right in 1990s and 'involved in public order situations where left and right attended'; contemporary of Peter Francis who would confide in N89.
HN101 unknown SDS. Contemporary of Peter Francis, who had 'a involvement in Stephen Lawrence campaign issues' according to Lambert (Ellison, p. 214).[10]
HN104 Carlo Neri (alias) UCPI minded to restrict real name.[1][2] SDS UCO. Deployed against two groups March 2000 to Summer 2006. Both he and partners concerned about violence being used by (ex)members of the groups he targeted and of media intrusion, and the efforts of those with IT skills to ascertain his real name and whereabouts. "These concerns are not irrational and have some basis in fact". According to Prof Fox, (report of 8 March 2017), HN104 suffers from significant mental health conditions. Mitting opposing publishing of real name as interference under Article 8(2), and not necessary for those who claim sexual relationships with him in order to give evidence in acts committed by his cover name. "On the basis of what is known, interference in Article 8(2) rights ais not justified." Can give evidence from behind a screen.[2] Applications from MPS & N104's lawyer to restrict publication of real name only; also received are personal statements from his family and expert medical report; final risk assessment from MPS awaited but no scope for restriction of cover name. Open versions published.[3]

August 2017 documents: open application for restriction order (MPS), open application for restriction order (S&G), Open supplementary application for restriction order (S&G), open medical assessment, open personal statement (1), open personal statement (2), open statement by HN104's partner, open statement by HN104's relative

HN108 unknown real name to be published in due course.[1] No application made.[2] SDS back office / manager
HN109 unknown SDS Detective Inspector in 1995. Interview by Operation Herne quoted in Ellison Review: "There was never any reference made to ‘smearing’ in relation to the Lawrence family. Deployments into the support campaigns surrounding Stephen Lawrence were specifically to build a picture of the public order background… Any meeting I was involved in was never about any family member. It was done to protect the family" (Ellison, p.211).[10]
N118 Simon Wellings (alias) Confirmed.[16] SDS UCO
HN120 unknown real name to be published in due course.[1] No application made.[2] SDS back office / manager
HN123 unknown Minded-to: restrict both cover name and real name.[1][2] SDS UCO. Deployed into number of left-wing groups 1993-1998. Retired from MPS on health grounds & later diagnosed from mental health condition in part derived from his deployment - in slow but incomplete recovery. "HN123 and HN123’s partner are concerned about the possibility that HN123’s identity will be revealed during the Inquiry, both for reasons of safety and because of the potential impact on HN123’s health. I have read personal statements by both of them, which are and will remain closed, in which these concerns are expressed. I accept that they are genuine and not irrational. Overriding them would interfere with their right to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention and would require to be justified under Article 8(2). Fulfilment of the terms of reference of the Inquiry does not require that the real or cover name of HN123 be published. The evidence of HN123 can be given under a cypher. HN123 was involved indirectly in deployments affecting the Lawrence family and can give evidence about that under the cypher. To the extent that it is contentious, it can be challenged just as effectively, as if given in the real or cover name. In those circumstances, the interference would not be justified. It is desirable, and may be essential, that HN123 gives evidence in public. In that event, protective measures are likely to be required."[2] Application from MPS & HN123's lawyer to restrict both cover and real names, along with personal statements & medical material - open versions published, some material previously being released in March 2016.[3]

March 2016 application documents: open application, draft order, personal statement (gisted) & risk assessment (gisted).

August 2017 documents: open application for restriction order (MPS), open application for restriction order (S&G)

The Ellison review stated (p.211): N123... spoke on the telephone to Operation Herne in November 2013: "Francis was lying about the smearing of Lawrence…" N123 had taken over from Mr Francis when in the back office. Mr Francis had told him that it was their role to provide "gossip for the field…" N123 had spent nine months in the back office and amongst management and had gone to field meetings. Not once did N123 see or hear any instruction to 'smear' the Lawrences. He did not see any paperwork to reflect this either.

According to Bob Lambert (Ellison, p.214), N123 started his undercover work after Lambert had become head of the SDS and stated: I am sure from day one the Stephen Lawrence case would have been on N123’s agenda, and… they must have attended, started to attend meetings with the Stephen Lawrence campaign, almost goes as read that they would have been there… they would want to be inside the meeting, to have a speaker on the platform and so N123 is following close behind ‘Pete Francis’… they became quite close friends and times would have been at the same events… May well have been events specifically in support of the Stephen Lawrence campaign…

Mentioned in Herne II has being undercover with the potential to report on the Lawrence family (Herne II, 12.2).[9]


Represented by Slater & Gordon.

N127 unknown Sergeant with SDS 1997-2001. Provides statement where he states he does not recognise Peter Francis's statements regarding spying on the Lawrence family; also received Lambert's memo on the N81 / Walton meeting (Ellison, p.229). N81 told Ellison: …I was informed, at the height of the Macpherson inquiry, that my reporting was going straight to Sir Paul Condon’s desk each morning via N24, and N127 (SDS Sgt) passed on to me from N24 congratulations from the Commissioner for your excellent reporting…' (Ellison 212, 229 & 232).[10]
N129 unknown SDS Detective Sergeant. received Lamberts memo on the N81 / Walton meeting; commented on character and skill of Peter Francis, but also that they did not recognise the allegations regarding seeking information to smear the Lawrence family. His statement to Op. Herne is quoted in Ellison (p.212): "[Mr Francis] was targeted towards the campaign in the same way as today… to perform a dual role of protecting the family from malicious extremist influences and providing information about potential public order issues. The anti-police sentiment on the streets was palpable, and Territorial Policing was very interested in any potential or planned disorder…" N129 believes that he was directly tasked to get involved with the campaign, although not necessarily with the family. His role was not about ‘smearing’ at all.[10]
HN146 unknown Real name to be published in due course.[1] No application made.[2] SDS back office / manager
N183 Richard Walton Special Branch background. Later head of Counter Terrorism Command.
N190 unknown SDS Detective Inspector; commented on retention / destruction of documents within the SDS during a 2004 document rationalisation process (Ellison, 201).[10]
HN204 unknown Real name to be published in due course.[1] No application made.[2] SDS back office / manager
N216 unknown Expressed outrage at Peter Francis allegations (Herne II, 21.1.14) and stated in respect of the targeting of Duwayne Brooks (Herne 24.1.13): 'SDS activity targeting individuals in a public order context may have brought certain officers into contact with, or in the close proximity of Duwayne Brooks, but, if that did happen, this would not have been in response to the murder investigation, or any connection with the family'.[9]
N218 unknown Herne II, para. 25.1.2 states: The MPS Director of Intelligence in 1999 has been interviewed by Operation Herne and stated, 'I have been asked if I recall 'any Special Branch plans to mislead the Macpherson Inquiry' into the death of Stephen Lawrence. For part of this time I was head of Special Branch operations and have no recollection of any such plans.’ Peter Francis alleged that N218 came out to see him in respect of withholding information from the Macpherson Inquiry. In interview N218 stated that this meeting or request never happened.[9] It is not clear if N218 is the MPS Director of Intelligence referred to or if it refers to someone else entirely. If N218 is the Director of Intelligence then it is probably Alan Fry as opposed to his successor Roger Pearce (who appears as N85).[9]
N275 unknown Det. Ch. Insp.; probably SDS but not definitive. Critical of record retention and note-taking in the SDS (Ellison, pages 198 & 201).[10]
HN294 unknown Cover name not ascertained by UCPI.[1] Minded-To: real name cannot be published.[2] SDS UCO & managerial. Now deceased. Deployed in 1968-1969 against one group which no longer exists, and reported on others, which also no longer exist. Managerial position in SDS 1969-1974. Has elderly widow & other family members. "There is no risk to their safety and minimal risk of intrusive interest in them even if his real name were to be published. They wish to avoid that risk. Although the risk is minimal, nothing would be gained by running it. Unless HN294’s cover name were to become known, publication of his real name could not prompt evidence from one or more members of the affected groups. Evidence about his managerial role, if it is available, can be given by others who knew him, by reference to his cypher. In those circumstances interference with the right of his widow and family to respect for their private life under Article 8 of the European Convention would not be justifiable under Article 8(2)."[2] Application from MPS for restricting real name, along with evidence from family and a risk assessment - open versions published.[3]

August 2017 documents: Open application for restriction order, open risk assessment (Brian Lockie), open personal statement (1), open personal statement (2)

HN297 Rick Gibson (alias) Cover name released[1] Minded-To: real name cannot be published.[2] SDS UCO. Deceased. Deployed 1974-1976. "As in the case of the living officers cited above it is unlikely that the publication of his real name would prompt the giving or production of evidence necessary to permit the Inquiry to fulfil its terms of reference. It would be likely to interfere with the right of his widow."[2] The MPS have submitted an application to restrict his real name, along with a risk assessment (Graham Walker) and additional threat assessments - open versions published along with cover name.[3]
HN315 unknown Witness Protection Unit officer assigned by John Grieve to Lawrence family following wrongful publication of witness details in a Macpherson Report appendix; said they were 'never approached by any member of the MPS or asked for personal information or rumour surrounding the Stephen Lawrence family' (Herne II, 21.2.4-5).[9]
HN321 unknown Minded-To: real name cannot be published.[2] Now in 70s. Deployed against two groups which no longer exist, for one year Sept 1968-Sept 1969; no known allegation of misconduct against him.

Mitting's 'Minded-To' of August 2017 states: "He undertook the role of an undercover officer on the understanding that his identity would be kept secret. He is concerned about possible media interest if his real identity were to be revealed. He is, in particular, concerned about the impact on his wife, also in her 70s. His concerns are not irrational. In the unlikely event that disclosure of his cover name, which can be made, prompts evidence from one or more members of the target groups it will not be enhanced by disclosure of his real name. It is likely that disclosure of his real name would prompt intense and unwelcome media interest in him and so would give rise to serious interference with his and his family’s right to respect for their private life under Article 8 of the European Convention which would not be justifiable under Article 8(2). Closed reasons accompany this note."[2]

Application made by the MPS to restrict real and cover names, including an supplementary submission, along with a personal statement and a risk assessment (David Reid) - open versions published in August 2017.[3]

In their personal witness statement, HN321 says:[17]

The Special Branch was a covert entity and while the public knew it existed, its activities were secret. My understanding when I joined the Special Branch was that I was not to discuss its activities outside of the service and my expectation of the Branch was that my identify would also be kept secret. I recall that at the Induction presentation in to the Branch that we were warned that we would have access to secret information that we were not to reveal to anyone outside of the Police or to even acknowledge that we were members of the Special Branch. This seemed entirely reasonable to me and for nearly fifty years I have kept faith with that understanding.

According to his risk assessment:[18]

  • 3.3 N321 received no training and no pyschometric testing. N321 was told that N321 needed to gather intelligence, but the senior officers left it to the squad members to work out their own approach. There was no particular methodology advocated by officers and N321 simply used whatever techniques looked the most promising. To a certain extend the approach had to be tailored to the group that were to be penetrated.
  • They did not use the identity of a dead child.

N321 is not a core participant.

HN323 unknown Deceased. No records of cover name found; real name to be used in due course.[1] No application made.[2] SDS UCO
HN325 unknown Real name to be published in due course.[1]. No application made.[2] SDS back office / manager
HN326 Douglas Edwards (alias) Cover name name released[1]. No application made.[2] SDS UCO. Currently in 70s and retired; deployed against 3 groups, two of which no longer exist, for 2 1/2 years between 1968-1971. "He has been careful to preserve his anonymity and is worried about disclosure of his real name. He is concerned that it may be discovered by organisations such as undercoverresearch.net and fears media intrusion. He suffers from conditions which may be exacerbated by worry. His cover name will be published."[2]

Application from MPS to restrict real name only, personal statement, risk assessment (Kevin Shanahan) and additional threat assessments - open versions published bar on additional threat assessments.[3]

In his personal statement, he wrote:[19]

Discretion and secrecy was the order of the day - stum und krum. Say nothing about anything. this was communicated to me right from the very start. Even other members of my unit were not aware of my undercover name and which groups I infiltrated. It was very much "keep quiet about the whole thing". To be honest, I can't recall a conversation about secrecy at the end of my deployment. It was just the nature of the job that you didn't talk about it.
... At the time of my deployment, I was living with my parents. I told them I was on the Drugs squad...

According to his risk assessment:[20]

He was recruited by Special Branch management into the Special Operations Squad, whose function was to monitor protest groups who were a major concern of the Government. He had no formal induction or form of training (3.3).
"3.4 At the time of his recruitment was informed by his senior management (Detective Chief Inspector & Detective Inspector) that the Unit he was seconded to was highly secret and was to be deployed as a result of ongoing large scale public disorder being a major concern of the Government at that time (late 1968)."
NOt offered or provided with support during his deployment; it was ad hoc and unco-ordinated (4.19).
After deployment he resumed duties in Special Branch (4.16)

See under profile for more detailed analysis of his time undercover.

He did not use the identity of a dead child.


HN327 unknown Deceased. No records of cover name and real names to be used in due course.[1] No application made.[2] SDS UCO
HN328 unknown Real name to be published in due course.[1]. No application made.[2] SDS back office / manager
HN329 John Graham (alias) Cover name released.[1] Minded-To: real name cannot be published.[2] SDS UCO. Now in 70s. Deployed against two groups that no longer exist for one year in 1968-1969. As with HN321, only less concerned about media intrusion.[2] MPS have applied to restrict real name only, and issued a open personal / impact statement from him alongside a open risk assessment (David Reid).[3]

For details and analysis of his time undercover see his profile. He has subsequently made appearances on television under his real identity.[21]

HN330 unknown Cover name not ascertained by UCPI.[1] Minded to: real name cannot be published.[2] SDS UCO. Now in 80s; deployed against one group, no longer active, for several weeks in 1968. "He would like to be left in peace". Does not remember the cover names he used, similar considerations apply as HN321.[2] 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 was focused on.[22]

In an email to the risk assessors he stated:[23]

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 through out the [Metropolitan Police District] and knocked on hundreds of door. In all cases and for obvious reasons my true identity remained unknown and when avoidable I gave a false name and occupation...”

MPS have applied to restrict his real name only along with open submissions, a personal statement and risk assessment (David Reid) - open versions published.[3]

In his personal statement, he has described the risk assessment process as a 'pantomine' and based on 'hearsay obtained from a former colleague'.[22]

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.”[24]

HN333 unknown Cover name known.[1] Minded-To: real and cover names can not be published.[2] SDS UCO. Now in 70s and retired. Deployed for 9 months in 1968-1969 against a left wing group (no longer exists). No known allegation of misconduct against him and he neither committed any crimes or took the identity of a dead child as part of his cover. Described his training as 'rudimentary'. Hei infiltrated his target group by answering an advert for people who were following the philosophy of [redacted]. Subsequently attended meetings of this small group. He characterised the group as extremist.[25][2] [26]

"N333 received no specific assurance or guarantee of anonymity by senior officer(s). N333 states that there was only 'implied implication' of future anonymity'.[26] He subsequently went on to have a 'long and distinguished career' in the police.[25]

Mitting stated in his Minded-To:[2]

"If his cover name were to be disclosed, it is very unlikely that it would prompt evidence from one or more members of the target group which would assist the Inquiry to fulfil its terms of reference. It would also be unlikely to prompt a threat to his personal safety or to that of his family. There is, however, a small – in my judgement, very small – risk that if his cover name were to be associated with the valuable duties which he performed subsequent to his deployment, he would be of interest to those who might pose such a threat. The nature of that risk is set out more fully in the closed reasons which accompany this note."

The MPS has applied to restrict real name only, while N333's designated laywer has applied to restrict the cover name. Other August 2017 application documents: open submissions, personal statement and risk assessment (Graham Walker).[3]

HN333 are not a core participant in the Inquiry.

HN335 unknown Deceased. No records of cover name; real names to be used in due course.[1]. No application made.[2] SDS UCO
HN343 unknown UCPI needs more details before making decision on restricting details.[1] Minded-To: "The real name cannot be published. Awaiting final position in relation to the cover name, as the Metropolitan Police Service having originally made no application in respect of it."[2] SDS UCO. In 70s. Deployed into various groups in early 1970s; past kept secret from everyone his family & social circles. "HN343 is still economically active and has a legitimate concern, the cause of which cannot be stated in this document, that if oral evidence were to be given without steps being taken to conceal identity, HN343 would be the subject of media interest which would impair personal and economic life. If HN343 is required to give oral evidence, it is likely that protective measures will have to be taken. Pending receipt of further information, no decision can yet be made about publication of the cover name."[2] Application from MPS to recover real name only, along with impact statement and additional evidence. "A final risk assessment is awaited from the Metropolitan Police Service which might trigger a wider application to restrict the cover name as well as the real name." Open versions of documents not yet published pending final application.[3]
HN345 unknown UCPI granted extension until 1 September 2017 to submit anonymity application.[1][2] Previously thought to be deceased but since discovered to be alive.[3] SDS
N367 unknown SO15 / CTC from 2006, Det. Sgt; point of contact for ex-SDS officers. Was contacted by N81 in this capacity but was accused of having 'an agenda to belittle SDS' (Ellison, 253).[10]
N406 Barry McDowell Special Branch officer who moved to Racial and Violent Crime Task Force (CO24 / under John Grieve) and was appointed as a liaison between the two units 1998/1999 (Herne II, 21.1.6; Ellison, multiple pages).[9][10]
N519 Marco Jacobs (alias) Cover name Confirmed.[27] NPOIU UCO
N587 unknown Author of the SDS Annual Report in 1985 (Herne II, 18.1).[9]
N596 Rod Richardson (alias) Cover name Confirmed.[28] NPOIU UCO
HN1251 unknown Real name to be published in due course.[1] No application made.[2] SDS back office / manager


Not all officers have publicly assigned N numbers, for instance those of Mike Chitty, Colin Black and Robert Potter are as yet unknown.

Restriction order tranches

On 18th May 2017, the then Chair of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, Christopher Pitchford, ordered that restriction orders should be submitted for three separate tranches of officers. These were:[29]

  • By 1st June 2017: HN7, HN16, HN108, HN120, HN294, HN321, HN323, HN326, HN327, HN329, HN330, HN333, HN325 & HN343.
  • By 1 July 2017: HN2, HN15, HN26, HN58, HN68, HN81, HN104, HN123, HN146, HN204, HN297, HN328, HN335 & HN1251.
  • By 1 August 2017: N1, N23, N40, N45, N78, N86, N127, N216, N241, N298, N318, N322, N331, N334, N336, N344, N347 & N348.

Notes

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 Press Release: 'Minded to' note, ruling and directions in respect of anonymity applications relating to former officers of the Special Demonstration Squad, Undercover Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 3 August 2017 (accessed 3 August 2017).
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 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 Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 3 August 2017 (accessed 5 August 2017).
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 David Barr & Kate Wilkinson, Counsel to the Inquiry's explanatory note to accompany the 'Minded to' note 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 Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 3 August 2017 (accessed 5 August 2017).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Mick Creedon, Report 1: Covert Identities, Metropolitan Police Service, July 2013. SORT LINK
  5. No anonymity sought for N5, Undercover Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 20 December 2017 (accessed 5 August 2017).
  6. 6.0 6.1 John Mitting, In the matter of section 19(3) of the Inquiries Act 2005 Application for restriction order in respect of HN7 Ruling (Ruling in respect of HN7), Undercover Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 3 August 2017 (accessed 5 August 2017).
  7. Mark Ellison, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review - Volume 1: Possible corruption and the role of undercover policing in the Stephen Lawrence case, Gov.UK, March 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Chairman’s ‘Minded to’ note on applications for restriction orders in respect of two former undercover police officers, Undercover Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 20 October 2016 (accessed 5 August 2017).
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 Mick Creedon, Operation Herne: Report 2 - Allegations of Peter Francis, Metropolitan Police Service, March 2014.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 Mark Ellison, Possible corruption and the role of undercover policing in the Stephen Lawrence case, Stephen Lawrence Independent Review, Vol. 1, Gov.UK, March 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 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 Directions (Directions arising out of the 'Minded-To'), Undercover Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 3 August 2017 (accessed 5 August 2017).
  12. 12.0 12.1 Graham Walker, HN26 - Open risk assessment, Metropolitan Police Service, 24 July 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
  13. David Reid, N58 Risk Assessment (version 2 - gisted), Metropolitan Police Service, 25 May 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
  14. David Reid, HN81 - Open Risk Assessment (redacted), Metropolitan Police Service28 June 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
  15. No anonymity sought for Roger Pearce, Undercover Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 29 March 2017 (accessed 3 August 2017).
  16. Update on anonymity applications – N118 ("Simon Wellings"), Undercover Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 19 January 2017 (accessed 5 August 2017).
  17. 'NH321', Open personal witness statement of N321 (redacted), Metropolitan Police Service, 30 March 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
  18. David Reid, HN321 Open Risk Assessment, Metropolitan Police Service, 31 May 2015 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
  19. 'HN326', Open personal statement of HN326, Metropolitan Police Service, 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
  20. Kevin Shanahan, Open risk assessment for HN326, Metropolitan Police Service, 31 May 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk)
  21. 'HN329', Open personal statement, Metropolitan Police Service, 30 March 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
  22. 22.0 22.1 HN329, Open personal statement (redacted), Metropolitan Police Service, April 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
  23. David Reid, HN330 open risk assessment, Metropolitan Police Service, 31 May 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk).
  24. David Reid, HN330 open risk assessment (redacted), Metropolitan Police Service, 31 May 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk)
  25. 25.0 25.1 'HN333', Open personal statement (redacted), Metropolitan Police Service, 25 May 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Graham Walker, HN333 Open risk assessment, Metropolitan Police Service, 2 May 2017 (accessed via UCPI.org.uk)
  27. Update on anonymity applications - N519 (“Marco Jacobs”), Undercover Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 10 November 2016 (accessed 5 August 2017).
  28. No anonymity sought for undercover identity ‘Rod Richardson’, Undercover Policing Public Inquiry (UCPI.org.uk), 15 December 2016 (accessed 5 August 2017).
  29. Christopher Pitchford, Order pursuant to the ruling of 2 May 2017 granting an extention of time for service of anonymity applications by the Metropolitan Police Service in respect of the Special Demonstration Squad, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 18 May 2017.