Rod Leeming

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This article is part of the Undercover Research Portal - a project of the Undercover Research Group in conjunction with SpinWatch.

Roderick Leeming, born February 1945[1] is a former Special Branch officer, who set up Global Open in 2001 and remained its Managing Director until it dissolved in 2015.[2] The private security company keeps a "discreet watch" on protest groups for clients including E.ON.[3]


Global Open's Director and Former Special Branch

Leeming admitted he regularly infiltrated undercover operatives into protest groups in his role as head of the Animal Rights National index. He told The Guardian that the company only advises firms on security and insists Global Open does not infiltrate activist groups. The newspaper concluded however that Global Open "appears to have access to well-sourced intelligence".[3]Global Open's tagline is "Be Aware. Be up to date. Keep the threat in perspective."[4] According to its website, Global Open can carry out a full security audit of an organisation's plants and offices from an activist's perspective.[5] Groups monitored by Global open were listed as including those from 'animal rights, environmental issues, anti-corporatism and anti-globalisation'.[2]

Undercover police officer Mark Kennedy and Global Open

Controversially, Mark Kennedy carried on his life undercover after he left the police, using his fake name and beginning work within the private security industry.

The nature of the links between Global Open and Mark Kennedy remain unclear. Leeming previously claimed never to have met or employed Kennedy. However, according to The Guardian it has been subsequently understood that Global Open had "offered to employ several ex-police officers, including Kennedy, who said he was hired by Leeming as a private investigator last year." [6]

Mark Kennedy set up his own private security company named Tokra. As researched by The Guardian

In February 2010 – a month before resigning – Kennedy set up Tokra Limited, at an address in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. Calling himself a logistics officer, Kennedy registered himself as sole director of the company. Intriguingly, the address he used is the work address of Heather Millgate, a solicitor specialising in personal injury, and a former director of Global Open, a private security firm.[3]
Last spring, Kennedy set up a second firm – Black Star High Access Limited – in east London.[3]On 12 April, Kennedy applied for Tokra to be dissolved. Within a few days of that application, he resigned from the police. Tokra was finally dissolved on the 17 August. On 31 August, Millgate resigned as director of Global Open. Black Star High Access has not yet filed any records to reveal whether it is a viable, financial concern, but it is still active.[3]

Leeming did confirm that Tokra was set up for a "reason" but he could not say what it was – only that it was a confidential matter between Kennedy and Millgate,[3]former director of Global Open [7]. Connections between Kennedy's firm Tokra and Global Open seem to go beyond sharing company registration addresses. In an interview with The Daily Mail, Kennedy says "in January last year I was approached by a private company which advises corporations about activist trends. It’s run by Rod Leeming, a former Special Branch officer. I’d never met him before".[8] The article stated that Kennedy handed in his resignation from the police in January, ending work in March. He resumed his relationship with his girlfriend while he worked for Global Open as a consultant – although he says he did not operate undercover for the company.[8]

Transferable skills and alliances: police and private security industry

Questions have been raised regarding the ethics of "former police officers cashing in on their surveillance skills for a host of companies that target protesters".[6] See the Powerbase overview of the revolving door between the private security industry and the police.

Infiltrating the Campaign Against the Arms Trade

Rod Leeming and Global Open came to public attention in 2007 when it was implicated in the case of Paul Mercer (a friend of then Conservative shadow defence minister, Julian Lewis) who was exposed as spying on the Campaign Against the Arms Trade for the arms firm BAE.[3] [9]

Directors of Global Open

Companies House records show Global Open was incorporated on 1 February 2001. Its directors are listed as Roderick Leeming, Alison Leeming and Victor Ash. Heather Millgate is a former director.

Androtech Systems Ltd

Rod Leeming was also a director of Androtech Systems Ltd (company number: 04076478), registered to 28 Forest Ridge, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 3NH (and prior to that at 71 Hayes Way, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 6RR). The company was founded on 22 September 2000, when he and Veronica Fincham (listed as a 'housewife') were founding directors. He left in April / May 2006 when he was replaced by Andrew Jastrzebski, who continued as a director along with Fincham (they are listed as joint owners).[10][11] This company, which appears to be dormant was listed to be in the 'security and investigations' industry and had a website at (defunct as of July 2015).[12]


  1. Androtech System Ltd,, undated (accessed 13 July 2015). Also lists him as a police officer.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Association of Security Consultants, CONSEC 2012 - 18th Annual Conference & Exhibition, 2012 (accessed 10 July 2015). Rod Leeming gave a talk at this conference entitled Emerging Corporate Threats: Protecting Commerce and Individuals from Sophisticated Activism.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Rob Evans, Amelia Hill, Paul Lewis and Patrick Kingsley Mark Kennedy: secret policeman's sideline as corporate spy The Guardian, 13/01/11, accessed 17/01/11
  4. Global Open Website Home accessed 17/01/11
  5. Global Open Website Security Audit accessed 17/01/11
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rob Evans and Paul Lewis Green groups targeted polluters as corporate agents hid in their ranks, The Guardian, 16/o2/11, accessed 22/02/11
  7. Companies House, Global Open Annual Return 2010, accessed 19/01/11
  8. 8.0 8.1 Caroline Graham I've always respected the police. But the world of undercover policing is grey and murky The Daily Mail, 17/01/11, accessed 18/01/11
  9. Legal briefing, File:CAATvMercer-briefing.pdf CAMPAIGN AGAINST ARMS TRADE v PAUL MERCER & LIGNEDEUX ASSOCIATES, Leigh Day & Co. 18 April 2007.
  10. Androtech Systems Ltd,, undated (accessed 10 July 2015).
  11. Androtech Systems Ltd,, undated (accessed 10 July 2015).
  12. Androtech Systems Ltd,, undated (accessed 10 July 2015).
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