HN7 is the cipher given to a former Special Demonstration Squad] undercover officer. They are subject to a restriction order preventing their real or cover name being published by the Undercover Policing Inquiry
For the N cipher system see N officers page.
As an SDS officer
Deployed in the late 1980s and early 1990s to three groups.
In the Undercover Policing Inquiry
An application was made to the Undercover Policing Inquiry that neither the real or cover name of HN7 would be granted. Unconnected with his undercover deployment HN7 had sustained a significant head injury while a police officer. This injury and an unrelated condition have caused significant mental and personal problems. As part of his anonymity application, HN7 was assessed by Prof. George Fox, who concluded there is a 'significant' ('highly likely to occur') risk of suicide if HN7's real or cover name were published.
Based on this medical evidence, the Inquiry Chair, John Mitting, without holding a hearing, granted full HN7 anonymity, based on medical evidence in August 2017. This order was made on 4 September 2017.
In his ruling, Mitting stated the risk to suicide is one he was not prepared to take, and even if that risk were not to materialise, noted "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".
This ruling was described by Counsel to the Inquiry as 'a final determination based on medical evidence which cannot be properly disputed.'
- 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).
- 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).
- Counsel to the Inquiry's Explanatory note to accompany the 'Minded-To' Note (2) in respect for restrictions over the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 14 November 2017 (accessed 15 November 2017).
- 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).