John Dines - Current Career

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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
undercover police officers
John Dines
Dines current.JPG
Alias: John Barker
Deployment: 1987-1991
London Greenpeace, Animal rights, and North London Activists

John Dines, who was an undercover officer in the Special Demonstration Squad between 1987 and 1991, was traced in 2016 to work at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security at the Charles Sturt University. Between 1987 and 1991, he infiltrated a range of left wing groups and campaigns in north London, now he is course director of a training programme for Indian Police officers, which includes targeting left wing groups.

During his time undercover, Dines had a two year relationship with Helen Steel, who spent many years looking for him after he disappeared from her life (for more detail on this, see the profile of John Dines). After she found out about his present job, Steel travelled to Australia to expose Dines' past in order to stop human rights abuses happening to others.[1][2]

This page profiles the course to Indian police officers and Dines' involvement in it. We also have a look at the Graduate School of Policing and Security which harbours an interesting collection of former UK police officers, partly with a history of fighting terrorism.

Also see:

* The profile of John Dines

The course and Dines' involvement

John Dines is one of the directors of a course called the ‘Indian Police Service Phase III Mid Career Program’, held on behalf of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs by the Charles Sturt University in Australia. Though Dines is not teaching the course - he is responsible for organising it and for the exams - the University does list him as an academic:

  • The program started in January 2010, when the University’s Graduate School of Policing & Security in Manly, New South Wales signed a first three-year contract with the Sardar Vallabhbai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNA) in Hyderabad, India, to deliver a six-week program in India plus a two week residential program in Australia. Entry to the program is extremely competitive, according to the University Annual Report; in 2010 it was delivered to 116 officers from jurisdictions across India. The Report has Dines in India for meetings 19-23 December 2010.[3]
  • In 2012, Dines - listed as Associate Professor - received a Professional Excellence Team Award for running this training program with co-directors Greg Linsdell and Graham Sunderland.[4]
  • The second three-year contract to design and deliver the course for 2014-2017 was signed in Canberra on 30 July 2014. The course is slightly reduced to a 4-week academic programme in India, followed by a 7-day study tour to Australia visiting police sites and facilities in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Dines was present at the signing ceremony with co-director Sunderland and Professor Nick O’Brien, the head of the School.[5]
  • The 2014 Annual Report of the Charles Sturt University had Dines listed as an 'academic' for four days meetings in India in February, and for a month as an 'admin' for 'teaching' in September.[6]
  • Participants of the 2015 course had to send the results of their assessment to John Dines.[7]
  • In 2016, after the first part at the National Police Academy in Hyderabad in February, 70 officers visited Australia in March, 68 participants and two faculty coordinators. The University letter of support for the visa applications, as well as the sample visa application have Dines down as the ‘course director’.[8][9]
  • After Helen Steel confronted John Dines at the airport in Sidney where he was waiting for a group of police officers from India for the second part of the course, Charles Sturt University offered a statement to the Guardian denying Dines was involved in teaching. The executive dean of the faculty of arts, Professor Tracey Green, said ‘Mr Dines was engaged by the university as a business manager and his role is solely administrative. He does not and never has held a teaching position or delivered any form of training for or on behalf of the university. He does not train police officers’.[10]

The Graduate School of Policing & Security - UK police links

Apart from education to students, the Graduate School of Policing & Security offers online courses and local training programs for ‘busy professionals … in Abu Dhabi, China, India, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore and Canada.’ The School claims to be ‘the world's largest provider of university education in law enforcement, counter-terrorism, emergency management, customs and border security studies’.[11]

The staff at involved in the course for India all have a background in policing.

  • The Head of School, Associate Professor Nick O'Brien came to the Graduate School of Policing & Security after a long career in counter terrorism. He worked on Irish as well as international terrorism since 1981, and as a representative of ACPO-TAM and for Special Branch:[12]
Before joining Charles Sturt University, Nick O'Brien represented the UK Association of Chief Police Officers - Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee (ACPO-TAM) and all the UK police forces as the Counter Terrorism and Extremism Liaison Officer (CTELO) at the British High Commission in Canberra. Nick covered Australasia and had a 'watching brief' on the Asia and the Pacific region.
Prior to this posting Nick was in charge of International Counter Terrorism in Special Branch at New Scotland Yard. He also had responsibility for the National Terrorist Financial Investigations Unit (NTFIU) and International Liaison.
Nick has had national responsibility for all Special Branch training in the United Kingdom.
Still according to his CV, he represented the UK at the G8 Counter Terrorist Practitioners Meetings [13] and the UK at Europol and the European Police Working Group on Terrorism. Furthermore he visited countries all over the world ‘on terrorist related matters’.[12]
  • The Dean, Tracey Green, was a UK police officer for 22 years, as her University’s profile says: 'rising to to the rank of detective inspector she has extensive experience in the areas of serious and serial criminal investigation, in particular homicide, drug and police corruption.’[14]

  • Greg Linsdell, one of the Award winners with Dines, spend 28 years with the Victoria Police in Australia before becoming a senior lecturer at the University.[15]
  • Graham Sunderland, Co-ordinator of Professional Development Courses, has a history with the Cumbria and West Yorkshire police in the UK.[16] An Assistant Chief Constable, Sunderland retired in 2009 after 30 years in the force. In addition, he was the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Lead for Disaster Victim Identification. ACPO hired him as a consultant just a month after his retirement to continue this work. Freedom of Information Requests showed that he was given two year-long contracts in 2009 and 2010, each worth 60,000 for at least 120 days work. In total he was paid 182,223 through his company, Epic (GS), including expenses and extra days. The payments were funded by the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office but the contract was with ACPO.[17][18][19]

(Photos from The Graduate School of Policing & Security staff pages at the Graham Sturt University website, 2016.)

Another significant UK police link to the School is Paul Blewitt, an Industry Fellow in the School of Policing from March 2012 to January 2014, were he involved in teaching and research. In February 2014 he was seconded from the University as a visiting lecturer at Rabdan Academy where he remained until he retired in April 2016.[20] From 1998 to 2005 he was Assistant Chief Constable for Operations at West Midlands Police, during which period he was on the Steering Committee for the undercover policing unit the National Public Order Intelligence Unit.[21]

The Programme and the teachers

The course is a general, mid-level course to improve standards of policing by developing the general education of police officers, offering lectures on ‘Leadership development’ such as, ‘Problem solving’, ‘Decision making in crisis’ and ‘Strategic View of Policing’. The session on ‘Future and Innovation’ includes Cyber topics and Social media, but also Human Identification in Mass Fatalities, ‘Gender Sensitivity & Child victims’; while the third week focuses on Investigation Management, it offers subjects varying from questioning techniques, crime scene management, and traffic management.[22]

  • The Programme in 2015 included a morning session on Left Wing Extremism & Government Responses, by Shri Prakash Mishra, listed as Special Secretary at the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs.[23] Nothing is known about the content of this session, though the lecturer clearly represents the government. India has several minorities and revolutionary groups fighting for their rights; the Naxalite Maoist revolutionary group - Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army - in the north of the India is currently taken to a next level with the use of explosives (IEDs) attributed to the group.[24]. Repressive policing over the years has contributed to the escalation of the conflict.[25]
  • Another morning session is devoted to Human Rights & Impact on policing in India, by Shri Chaman Lal, a former police officer who after his retirement worked for the National Human Rights Commission and has been working to help people in mental institutions’. In 2011, he was honoured with the Nani Palkhivala Civil Liberties Award in Mumbai.[26] Chaman Lal left the police in 1988 because he disagreed with the use of force against uprisings in Punjab, saying: ‘Except for a handful of die-hard terrorists, the people should be treated with respect.’[27]
  • Cross-border Security Challenges - Are technology, privacy and public safety on a collision course? This topic was covered by Daniel Clegg, an FBI agent for 25 years Regional Director based at the US Embassy in India for five years until August 2015. He has since set up his own ‘international security solutions consultancy’ World Integra LLC.[28] As FBI attache, Clegg’s tasks included capacity building and improving law enforcement in the region, as such he took part in exchange programmes on fighting corruption, improving interrogation techniques,[29] and counter-terrorism.[30] and forensic expertise.[31]
Jolene Jerard, RSIS, Singapore
  • Social Media for Effective Policing is presented by another retired officer, Mark Cameron, who – like course director Graham Sunderland - served with Cumbria Police, for 31 years. Specialised in cybercrime investigation and forensic computing, he set up his own consultancy in cybercrime, AML Consulting in 2013.[32][33]

Links with undercover policing: Bob Lambert and David Veness

PhD Jolene Jerard, Acknowledgement - detail. Click pic for full text
Jolene Jerard, through her work, is linked to former undercover Bob Lambert who partly overlapped with Dines infiltrating activist groups in North London, and with David Veness, whose career included overseeing undercover units at various points in time.[36]
Jerard shares Lambert's interest in de-radicalistation through communities, and he supervised her PhD at St Andrew's which she finished in 2015 (Lambert resigned in December that year).[37] One of the three books Jerard co-edited, Countering Extremism: Building Social Resilience through Community Engagement, published in May 2013, includes a chapter by Bob Lambert, entitled ‘Community Engagement: Countering Violent Extremism in the UK’.[38][39]
The other links between Lambert and Veness and the RSIS date back to the time before Jerard worked there. Lambert was invited to talk about his work in Singapore twice, in 2009 and 2011.[40] Furthermore, the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research has strong links with its alma mater the CSTPV at St Andrews. The first few years after it was set up, the Singapore’ Centre had an International Advisory Council. At this board, along with former MI6 head Richard Dearlove, was David Veness.[41] Veness has held the position of Honorary Professor of Terrorism Studies at CSTPV - at least since 2006.[42]
Also see:

Clifford Stott quits over Dines

Clifford Stott, Keele Uni

Professor Clifford Stott presented a full day on Public Order Management/Crowd Psychology/Mega Event Management to the two different groups in Hyderabad in November 2015. Stott is a Professor of Social Psychology at Keele University in the UK since March 2016, and before that he was Principal Research Fellow for the Security and Justice Research Group, in the School of Law at the University of Leeds.[43] His experience includes teaching public order and crowd control to police forces in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, he is specialised in liaison officers policing protest.[44][45][46][47][48]

Stott has been working with academic and policing partners in Australia for a number of years, since spending a sabbatical there. During this time, he delivered courses on crowd psychology for the New South Wales Police and for Charles Sturt University. His work also influenced the Queensland police in preparing for the G20 in Brisbane in 2014.[49] Stott’s collaboration with Charles Sturt University (CSU) was through Graham Sunderland and involved delivering a two-day course on crowd psychology and policing in 2013 in Manly to Police officers from across Australia.[50]

Subsequently Stott was invited to teach on the training program in Hyderabad, India. That’s where he first met Dines, as one of the two course directors. As far as Stott is aware, Dines deals exclusively with the administrative support and liaison with the IPS whereas the other director, Graham Sunderland, is responsible for the course content and delivery.[50]

Stott taught in Hyderabad three times, the last time in November 2015. He decided to stop after he became aware of John Dines history and identity as an ex-UK police officer. Stott explained:[50]

Prior to this visit I read the Guardian book [by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis, red.] on the issue of undercover policing, but I still did not make the connection that John Dines at CSU was the John Dines involved in those early undercover operations. In my opinion he looks very different to the pictures in the book and he speaks with a strong Australian accent.
Nonetheless, I was obviously now aware of the corresponding names so spoke with him about this during that visit, where he discussed with me that he was the John Dines in question.

The decision was influenced by a number of other more practical factors as well, he says.[50]

However, although Dines does not have any input in the content of the course, the fact that he is connected to it may raise questions from students and attract negative attention from activists about my involvement.

Also see


  1. Islington Against Police Spies, Helen Steel confronts #spycop John Dines in Australia, 9 March 2016 (accessed March 2016)
  2. Paul Farrell and Rob Evans, Undercover UK police spy apologises after being tracked down by woman he deceived, The Guardian, 9 March 2016 (accessed March 2016)
  3. Charles Sturt University, 2010 Annual Report to the Parliament and Community, 2011, p.37 (accessed May 2016)
  4. Charles Sturt University, Faculty & Division Awards, 2012 (accessed May 2016)
  5. Sardar Vallabhbai Patel National Police Academy, NPA signed Contract with Charles Sturt University, Australia for MCTP Phase III, 30 July 2014 (accessed May 2016)
  6. Charles Sturt University, 2014 Annual Report to the Parliament and Community, 2015 (accessed July 2016)
  7. Charles Sturt University, Assessment Guide for Participants, 3 November – 4 December 2015 (accessed May 2016)
  8. John Dines, Letter to the Australian High Commission in New Delhi., Support of Visa Applications Indian Police Service, 20 January 2016 (accessed May 2016)
  9. Sardar Vallabhbai Patel National Police Academy, Sample Visa form, 2015 (accessed May 2016)
  10. Paul Farrell and Rob Evans, Undercover UK police spy apologises after being tracked down by woman he deceived, The Guardian, 9 March 2016 (accessed May 2016)
  11. The Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security, About the school, no date (accessed May 2016). Much of the school's online presence was taken down from the University website in June, About the school via, also gone missing Staff page via (accessed July 2016)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Charles Sturt University, Nick O’Brien, University profile, no date (accessed May 2016). Some staff CVs were taken down in June, O'Brien's profile in Google cache (accessed July 2016)
  13. O’Brien was the author of the G8 paper on 'Best Practices in Dealing with Suicide Terrorism', and visited both Sri Lanka and Israel to study the phenomenon of suicide attacks.
  14. Charles Sturt University, Tracey Green, University profile, no date (accessed May 2016)
  15. Charles Sturt University, Greg Linsdell, University profile, no date (accessed May 2016). Some staff CVs were taken down in June, Gregory Linsdell profile via (accessed July 2016
  16. Graham Sunderland, University profile, no date (accessed May 2016). Some staff CVs were taken down in June, Graham Sunderland profile via
  17. Jack Doyle, Police chiefs hire retired colleagues on £1,100 a day to act as consultants, Mail Online, 25 March 2012 (accessed May 2016)
  18. The Yorkshire Post, Details missing from crucial documentation, 24 March 2012 (accessed May 2016)
  19. The Yorkshire Post, Inquiry into 1,00-a-day police ‘consultants’, 22 April 2012 (accessed May 2016)
  20. Paul Blewitt, Profile,, 2016 (accessed 22 September 2016).
  21. NPOIU Strategic Overview - Update, Council Committee on Terrorism and Allied Matters, Association of Chief Police Officers, 22 January 2000, unpublished FOIA request.
  22. Indian Police Service, Phase III Mid Career Training Programme, 9 February to 13 March (accessed May 2016)
  23. In fact he had been appointed as Directed General of the Central Reserve Police Force in December 2014, souce: Government of India, Shri Prakash Mishra , 22 December 2014 (accessed May 2016). 1979 – 2011 he worked at the National Investigation Agency in India. Source: Government of Odisha, India Police Service as on 01-07-2011 (accessed May 2016).
  24. See for instance, PTI | Raipur, Chhattisgarh: Jawan, civilian injured in pressure bomb blast by Naxals, 4 April 2016 (accessed May 2016)
  25. K.S. Subramanian, Political Violence and the Police in India, Sage, 2007.
  26. Newsgrab, Police Officer Gets Human Rights Award, 8 February 2011 2015 (accessed May 2016)
  27. Vipul Mudgal, Madness without method, 15 November 1988 (accessed May 2016)
  28. Daniel Glegg, LinkedIn profile, November 2015 (accessed May 2016)
  29. The Anti-corruption Commission of Bhutan, ACC and FBI share best practices in public corruption investigations, Lobesa, 30-31 March 2012 (accessed May 2016)
  30. Rediff News, FBI, Mumbai police discuss counter-terrorism, 5 August 2011 (accessed May 2016)
  31. Embassy of the United States, U.S. and Indian Scientists share cutting-edge forensic expertise, New Delhi, India, 29 August 2011 (accessed May 2016)
  32. Mark Cameron, LinkedIn profile, no date,(accessed May 2016)
  33. AML Consulting, Mark Cameron, profile, company website, no date (accessed May 2016)
  34. Saulcat, Jolene Jerard Terrorism in Indonesia: an examination of ten radical groups, 2015, St Andrews University Library Catalogue (accessed May 2016)
  35. S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Jolene Jerard profile, last updated 22 October 2015 (accessed May 2016)
  36. In April 1994 Veness was appointed Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Operations), a position he held until 2005. See: Sir David Veness: Mr Security’, BBC News Online, 31 December 2004. As head of Special Operations Veness oversaw various units including counter-terrorism and the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), which targeted protestors. In this role Veness knew and worked closely with Bob Lambert of the SDS. The two men would have a long association, including through the work of the Muslim Safety Forum, and, after both had left the Police, at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence
  37. Saulcat, Jolene Jerard Terrorism in Indonesia: an examination of ten radical groups, 2015, St Andrews University Library Catalogue - Acknowledgement page, (accessed May 2016)
  38. Robert Lambert, ‘Community Engagement: Countering Violent Extremism in the UK’, in: Rohan Gunaratna, Jolene Jerard & Salim Mohamed Nasir (ed.), Countering Extremism: Building Social Resilience through Community Engagement, Imperial College Press, 2013.
  39. Her other two books are: Rohan Gunaratna, Lawrence Rubin, Jolene Jerard (eds), Terrorist Rehabilitation and Counter-Radicalisation: New Approaches to Counter-Terrorism, Routledge, 2012; and: Jolene Jerard, Salim Mohamed Nasir (eds), Resilience and Resolve: Communities Against Terrorism, Imperial College Press Insurgency and Terrorism, 2015
  40. The first time Lambert spoke at a conference in Singapore was in 2009, see: Clint Lorimore (ed.), The RSIS-Warwick Joint Conference on Radicalisation, Non-Traditional Security and International Economic Cooperation, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, 2009 (accessed 5 January 2016). The second time was in 2011, after his book Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership appeared and just weeks before he was exposed as a former undercover officer. See: ICPVTR, International Conference on Community Engagement 21-22 September 2011, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore (Conference Report), Nanyang Technological University S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, 2011 (accessed May 2016)
  41. International Advisory Council, Political Violence and Terrorism Research, original site accessed 24 November 2014, now via The Council does not appear at the Centre's new website.
  42. Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, Sir David Veness, staff page, University of St. Andrews website (accessed May 2016).
  43. School of Psychology, Dr Clifford Stott, Staff profile, no date (accessed May 2016)
  44. School of Law, Clifford Stott, Staff profile, no date (accessed May 2016)
  45. James Hoggett and Clifford Stott, Crowd psychology, public order police training and the policing of football crowds, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 33 No. 2, 2010, pp 218-235
  46. Metropolital Police, Information re the Metropolitan Police's "police liaison officers" deployed at marches and protests in London, FoI request, released to Kevin Blowe, February 2013 (accessed May 2016)
  47. Clifford Stott, Martin Scothern and Hugo Gorringe, Advances in Liaison Based Public Order Policing in England: Human Rights and Negotiating the Management of Protest?, Policing, 14 March 2013 (accessed May 2016)
  48. For a detailed critque of Police Liaison Officers and their role in intelligence gathering during protests, see: Network for Police Monitoring, Review reveals Police Liaison Officers played ‘pivotal role’ in Balcombe protest intelligence gathering, 17 June 2014 (accessed May 2016) and Network for Police Monitoring, Police Liaison Officers - collected articles, (accessed May 2016)
  49. Tim Legrand and Simon Bronitt, Policing the G20 protests: ‘Too much order with too little law’ revisited, Queensland Review, 22, 2015, pp 3-14 doi:10.1017/qre.2015.2 (accessed May 2016)
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 Clifford Stott, Email correspondence with the Undercover Research Group, 19-25 May 2016