HN112 is the cipher given to a former undercover officer with the Special Demonstration Squad.
- For the N cipher system see N officers page.
As an SDS undercover officer
Joined the Metropolitan Police in early 1990s; recruited into SDS in 2007, and was with the unit until it disbanded (2008). Spent their time in SDS back office preparing for deployment and legend building but was never placed in the field. In their impact statement, they said:
- Although I was never deployed my cover identity was the product of a significant amount of hard work that immediately preceded, and I believe contributed to, one of the most difficult and distressing periods of my life. Publication of my cover name would significantly increase my sense of personal involvement with this process and would as act as a reminder of a period that I have endeavoured to try and move on from.
According to the risk assessment:
- N112 was recruited to the role by another SDS officer and underwent psychometric testing. N112 stated they did not recall and formal interview with SDS managers. N112 started work in the back office, developing their cover background and leaning fieldcraft. N 112 states recalling documents that the risk assessor believed to be the Tradecraft manual. N112 stated that their legend was tested and was given a list of do's and don'ts but did not recall seeing a code of conduct, nor did they recall. receiving any advice on participation in criminal activity. N112 states they received advice from another UCO in relation to stated cases but that N 112 was reliant upon themself to develop their legend and field skills. N112 states that no guarantee or assurance of anonymity was given. N112 had no home visits nor was their partner spoken to about N112's deployment and any effects upon them .
The risk assessor assessed the risk to HN112 as very low, though HN112 expressed fears otherwise.
In the Undercover Public Inquiry
- 20 February 2018 any application for anonymity to be filed by 26 February 2018 by the MPS Legal Team and 28 February 2018 by the Designated Lawyers team.
- 22 March 2018: Minded to restrict real and cover names, saying:
- He had a cover and code name, which will appear on internal documents. No good purpose would be served by requiring his cover or code name to be redacted from them. The information and evidence which he can provide to the Inquiry will concern his recruitment into the Squad and its disbandment. His mental health was fragile. The coincidence of the disbandment of the Squad and an event in his family life caused a sudden and serious deterioration in it. In the opinion of Dr McLaren, a consultant psychiatrist, publication of his real name would create a significant risk that his mental state would be destabilised again. There is no need to run that risk. It is not necessary to do so to fulfil the terms of reference of the Inquiry.
- Mitting also directed that any notification for a closed hearing was to be made by 10 April, with skeleton arguments to be provide by 17 April.
- 6 June 2018: final ruling made that neither HN112s' real or cover names can be released by the Inquiry, with Mitting writing:
- I repeat the factual statement about his time in the SDS made in paragraph 28 of"minded to" note 6. At a closed hearing attended by HN112, I was invited to consider a second medical report prepared by Dr McLaren, which clarifies the concerns of HN112. They are that, if his cover name is published, he will be victimised by or at the instigation of the managers of the SDS who closed it down, by releasing his real name to the media and/or by other means. Mr Sanders QC, who appeared for him expressly accepted that his fears were subjective and not founded on fact. He, and HN112, also expressly accepted that the witness statement which he will be required to provide and which will criticise them, will identify him to them. His evidence will be published and, if given at a hearing, be given in public. But for the events referred to in paragraph 28 of "minded to" note 6, I would have refused to make a restriction order in respect of his cover name. I am now minded to do o, for two purposes: to avoid any possible risk to his mental health; and to ensure that evidence, which may be of significant value to the Inquiry is not compromised by irrational anxiety on his part.
- Open application for a restriction order (anonymity) re: HN112, Metropolitan Police, 26 February 2018, real name only.
- Application for restriction order (anonymity) in respect of HN112's cover name, Designated Lawyers Team, 27 February 2018.
- Gist of medical evidence from two reports of Dr McLaren (20 March 2017 & 16 April 2018).
- Personal impact statement, 26 February 2018.
- N112 - Risk Assessment (gisted), 3 July 2018 (Duncan Hodge).
- It was also directed that any objections to Mitting's intention to grant the restriction order to be made by 20 July 2018.
- It was noted that a response from HN112 to Mitting's 'minded-to' was to restrict real name but not cover name. However, following a closed hearing, Mitting changed his mind to restrict both real and cover names.
- 30 July 2018: final ruling that real and cover name cannot be published writing:
- It is submitted that the medical evidence "does not support any mental health detriment as a result of disclosure of the cover name". As paragraph 4 of 'Minded to' note 10 makes clear, I accept that there is no objective justification for HN 112's stated fears. I am, however, bound to have regard to subjective fears. In this case, I will give effect to them if it does not impede fulfilment of the Terms of Reference. For the reasons set out in paragraphs 28 of 'Minded to' note 6 and in the accompanying closed note and in paragraph 4 of 'Minded to' note 10, I am satisfied that it does not.
- Sir John Mitting, Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad: Minded to note 12 and Ruling 10, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 30 July 2018.
- Sir John Mitting, Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad - 'Minded To' note 10 and Ruling 9, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 6 June 2018.
- 'HN112', HN112 Impact Statement, Metropolitan Police Service, 26 February 2018, published 9 July 2018 via ucpi.org.uk.
- Duncan Hodge, N112 - Risk Assessment (gisted), Metropolitan Police Service, 3 July 2018, published 9 July 2018 via ucpi.org.uk.
- 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, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 20 February 2018 (accessed 1 March 2018 via UCPI.org.uk).
- Sir John Mitting, Application for restriction order in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad 'Minded To' Note 6 and Ruling 5, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 22 March 2018.
- Sir John Mitting, Directions following publication of Minded to Note 6, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 22 March 2018 (accessed 2 April 2018 via UCPI.org.uk).
- Publication of documents relating to anonymity applications: National Public Order Intelligence Unit & Special Demonstration Squad, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 9 July 2018.
- List of documents relating to SOS officers - published 09 July 2018, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 9 July 2018.
- Sir John Mitting, Applications for restriction orders in respect of real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad and of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit - Directions, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 9 July 2018.
- Kate Wilkinson, Counsel to the Inquiry's Explanatory Note to accompany the Chairman's 'Minded-To' Note 12 in respect of applications for restrictions over the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad, Undercover Public Inquiry, 13 September 2018.