Lynn Watson (alias)

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Alias: Lynn Watson
Deployment: 2002-2008
Anarchist networks, environmentalists

‘Lynn Watson’ was the assumed identity of an undercover police officer who infiltrated activist groups, mainly in the northern English city of Leeds, between the years of 2002 and 2008. She was tasked by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) as 'one of the first in a team of 15 spies who would be sent undercover in one six-year period', according to Guardian journalists Rob Evans and Paul Lewis, who devote part of their book, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police to her.[1] Subsequent to her deployment within peace, environmental and anti-authoritarian political movements, Lynn was placed undercover elsewhere,[2][3] targeting serious organised crime networks.[4]

Lynn's role as a long-term police spy in protest movements was publicly confirmed in January 2011 in the wake of the unmasking of Mark Kennedy.[5] Her current whereabouts, status and true identity are all unknown. Her cover name was later confirmed by the Undercover Policing Inquiry, which has ruled in October that her real name as a serving police officer would be restricted.[6]

N.B. This page is a work in process, we are open to comments and additions. Contact us here, PGP available on request.

Also see:

Overview of undercover tour as ‘Lynn Watson’

Before moving to Leeds in 2004, Lynn was deployed briefly to investigate a woodland preservation protest campaign in East Sussex in 2002. The following year she infiltrated anti-nuclear and pacifist groups at Aldermaston in Berkshire.[1]

Once in Leeds she attached herself to a broad range of campaigns, groups and networks, including the then-growing Climate Camp movement[7] and the international anti-authoritarian organising hub Dissent!, which was co-ordinating protest and direct action against the UK-hosted 2005 G8 summit.

Lynn remained based in Leeds until early 2008, when she was removed from the field by the NPOIU.[8]

After she had disappeared, it appears two different people who knew her ran into her by coincidence in the South West of England - this was before she was exposed as an undercover.[9][10] In July 2010 an activist friend chanced upon Lynn at a pub in Dorset. Lynn seemed surprised initially, but remained in character. Despite several requests, she declined to give up-to-date contact details.[11]

Ongoing doubts about Lynn were first confirmed with Mark Kennedy pointing at 'Lynn Watson' when he was confronted by activists about his own false identity. 'Senior police sources' subsequently acknowledged that she was a police officer in January 2011, when the undercover police operation broke in the mainstream media. Further details about her work were leaked to The Times in April 2011.[4]

See also: Lynn Watson Undercover Timeline.

Personal details

Lynn was a British woman in her early to midthirties. People who spent time with her noted her intelligence and acerbic wit[1] and considered her a nice person who was not into gossip. (Mark Kennedy, however, alleged that she did not like the people she was targeting.[12]) She would change her politics depending on who she was with, which came across as chameleon-like.[12] She also told one activist that she suffered depression, though that is now considered a possible way of getting close to them.[13]

She had brown or dark hair, with brown eyes. She claimed to some that she was concerned about a skin condition which 'resulted in blotchy markings on her face whenever she was exposed to sunlight',[14] something she would use as a reason to not go on holiday with other activists.[13] She had a tattoo of an outline of a flower on her foot.[12]


Lynn told Leeds activists that her birthday was 1 or 2 January,[12] and that she was aged 35 at one point during her time undercover.[15]. In Company House details for Leeds Social Centre Ltd (i.e. 'The Common Place') she listed her date of birth as 26 December 1970.[16][17] She also gave Boxing day as her date of birth to friends.[13]

Habits, tastes and interests

Lynn Watson undated

Her activist acquaintance in East Sussex, Kate Holcombe, described her in 2002 as 'very, very fit'.[1]

Early in her time in Leeds, Lynn would go running twice a week with Sam,[13] though this eventually tailed off and though she talked more about it than actually doing it. She is known to be - or have become - a moderate smoker and heavy drinker.[12] By the end of 2007 she was claiming to friends that she believed she had a drinking problem.[14] She also complained to an activist friend of hangovers from having gone drinking with work mates (in hindsight, presumably fellow police officers).[13]

She appears to have been amenable to animals, and ‘Paul’ bought her a Staffordshire terrier puppy as a present in 2007, which she named Bridget.[8]

In terms of books she showed an interest in Bridget Jones and 'chick-lit' in general; there was nothing political and she demonstrated a cynical tendency against 'high culture'. In terms of music, she was into very mainstream material, Dirty Dancing and Johnny Cash. She was also very fond of Maltesers.[12] Would take part in 'girlie film nights' with activist friends.[13]

Her initial appearance was that she dressed more as if she was part of an NGO than counter-cultural.[18]

Family Background

Lynn told friends her parents were originally from Glasgow but had moved to Slough in Berkshire 'when she was young'.[19] She sometimes joked in 'an authentic Glaswegian accent'.[15] She told activists in Leeds that her family lived in Farnborough in Hampshire;[20][13] and reiterated this during the encounter in the Dorset pub.[21] At the time of the Camp for Climate Action activity in London, she said her parents were living in Guildford.[12] She also said she had two sisters (one of whom was adopted), of whom she was the youngest, and a nephew ('Thomas'). In general she gave the impression of being close to her family, talking vividly of her nephew, and apparently going on holiday with them including to New York City - something that included flying at their insistence - and Disneyland.[13][12] However, nobody met any of them, and she had no photos of them in her house.[12]

Likewise, there was no apparent connection with any previous life, nor did she have any political narrative of personal change which lead her to activism.[12]


During the earlier part of her deployment in Worthing and then at Aldermaston, she claimed to be a care worker living in Bournemouth (or Eastbourne) in Dorset.[18] On her Company House record she lists her occupation as 'care assistant'.[22]

Her stated reason for moving to Leeds was better job prospects in care homes 'up north' as promised by her employment agency.[15] She told someone else she had chosen Leeds because that would allow here to continue to be the carer of someone who moved there.[12] She was supposedly employed by the Taurus care agency in Leeds,[23] in a job that would take her away for days up to three weeks at a time. She was evasive when others asked her about the possibility of them getting care work through the agency.[12]


On moving to Leeds in 2004, Lynn initially lived on the outskirts of the city at Flat 3, Woodcroft, Outwood Lane, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 4HR,[24][12][25] She then moved to a two bedroom terraced house at 41 Welton Mount, Hyde Park, Leeds, LS6 1ET.[12][26] Her home was clean and tidy but spartanly furnished.[27] There was a lot of room in the house but she said the landlord was storing stuff there; she probably said this to deter other activists from asking to sublet it.[27]

Several people remember the clip-frame Class War posters that were on the walls in the house, one with the text 'We need more cops on our streets' over a picture of a fallen policeman being kicked. Compared to the lack of other political material in the house this seemed out of place and was often commented on.[12] Sam commented that it was quite incongruous compared to how she presented the rest of herself, and it was almost if she was trying too hard,.</ref name="sam.i"/> The other images included a picture of a dog that came from her sister, and a poster of the American actor Joaquim Phoenix.[12]

Activist modus operandi, undercover tradecraft

Offering driving skills

She was considered a good driver, and as a result she was involved in numerous reconnaissance trips.[12] During the Camps for Climate Action she demonstrated considerable driving skills, including deft handling of a vehicle spotted by a police car during the taking of the Drax site, and driving a flat-bed truck for the Heathrow site take.[13] At one point she owned a blue car, possibly a Skoda.[12]

Using trust in networks of contacts

Initially Lynn was active in the south of England. In the Aldermaston women's camp, she got close to Kate Holcombe, described as 'another novice showing an interest in the monthly camping events outside the atomic weapons establishment'.[1] She came across as 'surprisingly forward and keen', including handing out her phone number to activists.[18]

During a Dissent gathering in Brighton, she was introduced to 'Sam' a Leeds based activist, by a Manchester activist who knew her from Aldermaston. Her contact with Sam would instrumental in introducing Lynn to the Leeds activist scene in 2004.[13]

Lynn told Sam she was thinking of moving to Leeds following the dramatic end of a relationship - the implication was that domestic violence was involved and it would be rude to pry further.[15][13] She had chosen Leeds as she would be able to be a carer for someone she had looked after previously and who now lived there (see Occupation for variations on this story).

Once in Leeds she immediately became close to another individual in the local scene who was considered open and generally unsuspicious of people. At the time there emerged a half-joke about how straight Lynn was and the potential of her being a cop, though there was no evidence other than a feeling so this was not pursued at the time.[13]

She also befriended Leeds University lecturer Dr Paul Chatterton,[19] a fellow director of Leeds Social Centre Ltd. Chatterton would subsequently be involved in the June 2008 occupation of a coal train to the Drax power plant as part of a climate change protest[28] and play a prominent part in the subsequent trial.[29]

According to Sam, it felt that in hindsight that Lynn adopted a step-wise process to integrate herself into the Leeds scene, going through systematic trust building. She was playing up friendships to gain trust of other people, including saying she had seen someone when it was not true.[13]

This tactic allowed her to go from being part of Leeds Action for Radical Change, to The Common Place, to Action Medics to the Camp for Climate Action 'Land Group' and then to contacts with the European scene. (For more detail on the organisations she targeted, see below.)

Notable activity

Whilst undercover, ‘Lynn Watson’ displayed a number of characteristics which enabled her to be close or get closer to other activists and their decision-making processes. These included:

  • Getting onto mailing lists, submitting her contact details, requesting information about groups and planned actions.[1][30]
  • Willingness to put her name down on official paperwork, such as by becoming a director of the company leasing the building which was home to The Common Place.[16]
  • In general she was good at doing admin and the 'donkey work', which got her recommended to others as someone competent and reliable.[12]
  • Involvement in coordination and planning teams.[2][33][40]

Lynn Watson timeline(1).png

Also see:

* Lynn Watson Undercover Timeline


Contrary to other undercover police officers exposed to date, Lynn did not have sexual relationships with fellow activists. The only time she slept with an activist was at the first Camp for Climate Action at the Drax power plant in summer 2006.[46] The male activist told the Guardian the one-night stand,instigated by the female officer was 'nothing meaningful'.[47]

Aside from this, there have only been vague or unsubstantiated suggestions online about other sexual liaisons with activists,[33][48] though people close to her at the time remember it as little more than 'a couple of snogs'.[12] For the first year and a half in Leeds she remained single, saying she was not ready for any new relationships, using the excuse of her recent break-up.[46]

To Sam, she did talk about sleeping with men she met on nights out with friends not part of the activist scene, and professed attraction to a number of male activists.[13]

Use of 'background artistes’

Lynn claimed to have relationships with two men from outside the activist movement. In hindsight they themselves may have been undercover officers, deployed to add weight to Lynn's own cover and to circumvent the issue of not having a boyfriend within the activist scene. In the jargon, such characters are referred to as 'background artistes'. That both of them where impossible to find once people tried to look for them gives weight to this theory. In July 2010, she was also spotted with a third man, 'Chris', after her departure from the activist scene.


The first boyfriend, ‘Sean’, was introduced as a locksmith from Northampton whom she had met at a friend's birthday party, and he was not involved in politics. He is described as a 'dishevelled and socially awkward man' who 'seemed a strange match for Watson'. He instantly acquired the nickname ‘Frank Gallagher’, after the fictional drunk on the British TV show Shameless”. The relationship lasted less than a year.[49]

Following ‘Watson’'s disappearance, activists in Leeds tried to trace ‘Sean’, only to discover that despite phoning every locksmith in Northampton, he could not be found.[20][33]


The second boyfriend, ‘Paul’, was a former bouncer (in London) turned photographer from Coventry she started seeing at the end of 2007.[50][12] The two had apparently met in Newquay while she was on a hen party with friends from her previous life.[12] He is described as being around six foot tall, with a shaved head, a 'slightly intimidatory presence'.[8]

Activists who have met ‘Paul’ describe him in negative terms and thought that Lynn could have done better.[12] The way he interacted with women was not appreciated, as it included behaviour such as commenting on their breasts or encouraging a drunken Lynn to kiss her female friends in front of him.[51] However, others understood the inappropriate comments as part of failed attempts to engage with a social crowd whose norms he did not get.[12]

Paul would become part of her exit strategy. In January 2008 Lynn moved to Coventry to live with 'Paul'. When invited to take part in an action she declined, saying: 'I'm leaving, I don't need to hear about this'. Her friends threw her a leaving party, and one friend even drove a removal van with her things from Leeds to Coventry. Lynn and ‘Paul’ returned to Leeds to visit friends several times, but always insisted on staying in Travelodge hotels rather than at friends' houses. The couple then supposedly moved to Lithuania where 'Paul’ had found work. She remained in email or telephone contact with friends for a short time, 'claiming to be in eastern Europe', but soon 'the contact dried up'.[12][52]

During her chance meeting in the Dorset pub in July 2010, Lynn claimed she had returned to the UK for her father's funeral. She now said that the move to Lithuania had been 'an attempt to escape some dodgy individuals Paul had been in business with'. After they had been tracked down in Eastern Europe they had moved to the United States, to live in Iowa 'for some time'. They now planned to relocate to New York.[53]

The Leeds activists also tried to locate ‘Paul’, by calling every photographic agency around Coventry, to no avail.[20][33]


‘Chris’ was one of the people in ‘Watson’'s company at the Dorset pub in 2010 when friends ran into her, as detailed above. His role in the story is very brief according to the Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, the only words attributed to him being: “Lynn, are you OK?”[21]

‘Chris’ may have been an actual friend or relative of her with whom she was on a coastal walk, as she claimed.[11][54] However, the story published in The Times implies that she was on other undercover assignments after her deployment in activist circles,[4] while senior officials told The Guardian that she was an officer on secondment from a force in the south east - which could be the case again,[55] so he may have been an individual - police or otherwise - related to her subsequent undercover work.[56]

Advantages of 'background artistes

It is thought that ‘Sean ’ and ‘Paul’ were police officers deployed by NPOIU in support of ‘Lynn Watson’. However, it is suggested that the use of such background artistes performs several roles in an undercover deployment, namely:

  • A (fake) partner helps an undercover officer to be seen to be (sexually or emotionally) unavailable, and enables genuine activists or uninvolved civilians to be kept at a distance from the undercover officer's in-the-field private life.
  • A partner adds texture or depth to an undercover officer's cover, and makes the officer seem more real.[57]
  • A partner provides an undercover officer with a reason for absence from activist activity (when in fact the officer may be visiting their own family, filing police reports etc.).[14]
  • A partner so out of step with the values of the target community could be utilised as a means of disruption.[8]
  • A partner living in another geographical space offers the opportunity for the undercover officer to be more smoothly extracted from the field at the end of their deployment, by virtue of the common desire to ‘move in together’.[58]
  • It allows the officer to get closer to the targets, thus facilitating recognition as part of subsequent surveillance operations.[59]

Evans and Lewis points out that the use of undercover officers 'pretending to be sexual partners or spouses...was never a technique used by the [Special Demonstration Squad], which always preferred its spies to have intimate relationships with real people.'[14] Though a 2012 review into undercover units noted, there were distinct differences between NPOIU and SDS in terms of training, tactical development, operational reviews and interrelationship with the rest of the police force.[60]

Exit and exposure as an undercover officer

Early suspicions

Reservations and questions appear to have emerged from the very start,[15][61] many were suspicious of Lynn on first meeting her.[12] In Leeds she was openly referred to as 'Lynn the cop' or 'PC Watson', something she laughed off. At one point, in the context of a similar reference to Mark Kennedy, she asked why he got to be a detective, 'while I'm only a PC'.[12]

After the 2005 G8 protests, several activists who had stayed at Watson's house while she was away became suspicious of her. It was triggered in part by how strange the house felt, how empty of what most people would have, such as a tell-tale cupboard of accrued junk. They discussed how little they actually knew about her, of her work and the general strange ('iffy') feeling they had about her. An attempt to check her out failed partly due to a lack of resources available at the time, and at the same time a feeling of not wanting it to be true about someone otherwise close to them.[12]

Exit strategy and new suspicions

Following the drying up of contact after the move to Lithuania in 2008 (there was a few brief emails with one activist after she left, possibly in early 2009), a group of friends in Leeds became concerned for Lynn's wellbeing.[12] They saw situation as one were a friend had vanished, which could mean one of three separate things:

(i) She was in an abusive relationship.([62])
(ii) She had had a breakdown.
(iii) She was a police officer.

The group proceeded to try and track her down through friends or family. This included ringing all locksmiths in Northampton, photographers in Coventry, and people would could be family members. When they failed to find a birth certificate for her they began to increasingly conclude that she was a police officer. They tried to follow up reaching out to other activists who had known her but there was no contact there either, or further light shed. Though they did make key groups aware of their concerns, in the absence of actual proof they decided not go public with merely allegations.[63]

Confirmation and exposure

The first confirmation that Lynn indeed was a police officer came from Mark Kennedy who pointed at her when he was confronted by activists with evidence of his own true identity in October 2010 (and again in a telephone conversation between him and Simon Lewis in November 2010).[5]

In January 2011, when the Kennedy story broke in the mainstream press, 'senior police sources' confirmed to Guardian journalists that Lynn was a serving officer 'from a police force in the south-east seconded to the National Public Order Intelligence Unit'.[2][55]

At the request of the police, The Guardian initially referred to her only as ‘Officer A’ and used only a pixelated photograph of her, though her full (false) name and clear pictures soon appeared on Indymedia[64] (see also Lynn Watson Gallery page). Paul Lewis explained what had happened:

Days later [following Mark Kennedy's exposure], as we prepared to publish details of three other undercover officers – Lynn Watson, Marco Jacobs and Jim Sutton – a delegation of the most senior police in the country appeared at the Guardian office to dissuade us from jumping to conclusions.
Their message: Kennedy was a bad apple. His operation had gone awry. Our reporting risked endangering the lives of undercover operatives. We should leave it at that.[65]

The explicit request to withhold her work name and image was justified with the claim that she was in the field as an undercover officer elsewhere at that moment, and needed to be safely extracted.

This claim was repeated a few months later in an article in The Times by Sean O'Neill, a member of the Crime Reporters' Association, known for its close contact with police sources. The article explained that ‘Watson’ had been 'deployed in 15 operations involving serious organised crime, including drug trafficking and gunrunning' and that 'three covert operations against crime gangs in the East Midlands were abandoned because Ms Watson’s identity became known'. The article claimed that she had 'now been afforded "protected person status" under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act', and moved to a different part of the country with a new identity under armed police protection.[4]

It should be noted that the acknowledgement of ‘Watson’ as a police officer working for NPOIU is a deviation from the claimed policy of 'Neither Confirm Nor Deny'.

Target groups

Lynn Watson in CIRCA in 2004

‘Lynn Watson’ infiltrated campaigns or took part in actions of the following groups:

  • Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign) - the first time she seemed to lay down roots as an activist, and the campaign through which she became involved with other political groups.[1][15][19][32][34]
  • Block the Builders - an off-shoot of the peace movement, she became involved with this action focused campaign through her time at Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign).[32][33]
  • Camp for Climate Action - a key hub for environmental activists in the UK which facilitated a number of high profile and ambitious direct action campaigns, which she became increasingly involved in.[2][7][19][33][37][38][39][66] In particular she helped facilitate the occupation of the sites for Drax in 2006 and Heathrow in 2007, as she was part of the closed 'land group' - the only people who knew about the location in advance.[12]
  • Campaign for Accountability of American Bases - Lynn was not directly involved in the group, but she did take part in at least one demonstration called by it.[43][67]
  • Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA) She became involved with the Clown Army through a workshop on it put on by Leeds Action for Radical Change. She then took part with it in days of action against MP Hilary Benn in Leeds and the American spy base at Menwith Hill.[13] One of the founders of the Clown Army, John Jordan (previously a prominent within Reclaim The Streets) noted that she 'was a totally bad clown, could not let go and be free, which is what clowns have to learn to do', and that she was not with the group long before moving on.[40][43][68][69][44]
  • Dissent! - an international network of anti-authoritarians established to organise against the 2005 G8 summit at Gleneagles in Scotland, with involvement from a number of the groups and individuals targeted by Lynn (as well as Marco Jacobs and Mark Kennedy).[2][19][33] She appears to have been very interested in it, and to have 'been right there in the thick of it'. This included attending organisational meetings, such as its first gathering (Brighton, circa February 2004), before it had even acquired its name, a subsequent gathering in Manchester (Summer 2004), and the Eco-village camp at Stirling which had come out of it.[18] Her main involvement however was through the UK Action Medics (below).[12] Of note is that she persuaded the members of the Action Medics group that the main action during the G8 was going to be in Edinburgh rather than at Gleneagles, where the G8 meeting was actually taking place.[13]
  • Earth First! - took part in at least one EF! Summer Gathering, where activists from across the country come together for discussions, training, planning and to socialise.[33] She otherwise did not show much interest in Earth First![12]
  • Leeds Action for Radical Change - a hub for many groups and activists in Leeds, and one which ‘Watson’ gravitated towards after moving on from CIRCA.[70][40] This group would subsequently become the core group behind The Common Place (below). Other activities included a campaign around the campaign to protect the Leeds market.[12]
  • Leeds anti-fascism - briefly involved towards the end of her deployment with a militant anti-fascist group in Leeds when she was recruited as a driver for an action. She took part in the reconnaissance, though the action never came off.[12]
  • Protect Our Woodland - the first known target for ‘Lynn Watson’.[30][1][31]
  • The Common Place - a social centre in Leeds, Lynn was a director of the company (Leeds Social Centre Ltd[71]) set up to lease the building it was based in.[2][15][16] While there she was involved in the café collective and cooked at various events, though she never went to political meetings, saying she did not like them. She was also a member of its finance group. However, in the main she hung out socially there, and did not attend many of the Common Places' own meetings, or would turn up late for them.[13] Tomo, a campaigner strongly involved in the Common Place, described Lynn as being part of the core of the project, a founding director and treasurer, so having legal responsibility it relation to the running of the building. He also noted that:[62]
Lynn contributed to the financial difficulties of Leeds Social Centre by being a very unreliable treasurer, and it was often frustratingly difficult to find out what was going on and if we were solvent or losing money. She also created a legal mess through founding the company under a false name, which was one of the contributing factors in winding up the company.
  • Trident Ploughshares - a long-established direct action peace group whose activists had previously disabled war planes on a number of occasions and embarrassed police and politicians alike.[32]
  • UK Action Medics - an activist service group which has provided trained personnel to protests both in the UK and globally, and which is linked in to international political networks.[19][33][72] She went to most if not all its meetings and was considered trusted enough by the group to be given prior information on actions and with international links.[12]
  • Yorkshire CND - ‘Watson’ took part in training in preparation for a direct action organised by the group, but the action was brought forward in her absence, and she missed it.[41][42]

Offences committed

Undercover officer Lynn Watson working on The Common Place building prior to its opening.

As mentioned above, Lynn knowingly submitted false identity details to Companies House when becoming a director of Leeds Social Centre Ltd,[16]Companies House, ‘Ms Lynn Watson’,, 2014 (accessed 12 May 2014),</ref> a criminal offence under section 1112 of the Companies Act 2006:[73][74]

Whilst undercover, Lynn was also arrested a number of times, namely:

  • 31 August 2006: Arrested during a mass trespass of Drax power station during first Camp for Climate Action.[35][36] Another activist, reported that Lynn had asked him to hire a car and block the entrance to the power station in order to block it, something he declined to do.[62]
  • 17 August 2007: Arrested at a Climate Camp / Plane Stupid protest at the Department for Transport office building in Whitehall, central London.[19]</ref>[37][38][39][40]

Paperwork associated with false identity

It is known she had a passport in the name Lynn Watson, which she was open about in that she let others see it.[12]

As one of the directors of Leeds Social Centre Ltd, the company which leased the building for The Common Place; her membership number for the associated members club had the very low number, 3.[19]

Bank account details:[33]

  • National Westminster PLC
  • Sortcode: 560054
  • Account Number: 33516774
  • IBAN: GB97NWBK56005433516774

Email addresses:[24]


Connections to other undercovers

Lynn Watson is believed to be an early NPOIU officer (the unit was founded in 1999). Her first known appearance is dated to May 2002, but she does not become fully active until 2003 at Aldermaston, suggesting the former date is close to the start of her legend building process and the latter is the start of her formal deployment. Mark Kennedy would also make his first appearances in Summer 2003, suggesting that they were both being deployed at the same time as a second generation of NPOIU undercovers in the field. That they knew each other was confirmed by several activists who knew her, and by Kennedy himself (see above), with her apparently not holding a high opinion of him.[12] She also overlapped with another known NPOIU undercover 'Marco Jacobs', who was active 2004 - 2009, but it is not known if they ever associated with each other while deployed undercover. All three are known to have attended some of the same events, such as the Dissent! network mobilisation around the 2005 G8 meeting at Gleneagles and the subsequent two several Camps for Climate Action at Drax and Heathrow.[36][75]

Whereas Kennedy would remain until 2009 (officially with police at least), Lynn was withdrawn in 2008, following the approximate five year period of undercover work in the field. Marco Jacobs was in the field for a similar period of time, which indicates that the NPOIU had moved to a slightly longer period for deploying than the four years that had been standard for the Special Demonstration Squad.[76]

In the Undercover Policing Inquiry

In the Undercover Policing Inquiry, she has been given the designation EN34 (for the N-cypher system see under N Officers.

  • 2 May 2018: Mitting indicated he would restrict her real name, but was rejecting an application to restrict her cover name, noting [77]
EN34 was deployed by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit into several groups between 2003 and 2008. None of the members of the groups or their associates posed or pose a real risk to safety. The cover name of EN34 is in the public domain: it has been published by both the traditional and non-traditional media. No good purpose would be served by attempting to restrict it.
The real name of EN34 is not in the public domain. Publication of it would give rise to very significant interference in the right of EN34 to respect for private and family life. It would not be necessary to permit the Inquiry to fulfil its terms of reference, which require only that the cover name is published, as it will be.

A closed hearing in relation to her anonymity application was due to be held before 5 July 2018.[78]

  • 2 October 2018: the Chair of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, Sir John Mitting, ruled that her real name could not be published.[6]
  • 30 October 2018, she was granted core participant status, with Mitting stating:[79]
EN34 was deployed under the cover name "Lynn Watson"... Evidence about her deployment will be given publicly by her and, almost certainly, by individuals whom she encountered during her deployment.
She is a serving police officer. The evolution of her application for a restriction order in respect of her real and, initially, cover name has exposed differences of view and interest between her and the police force for which she works. She has a significant interest in the work of the Inquiry and fairness requires that she should be entitled to participate in it as a core participant. The need for her to do so has only become apparent relatively recently.


* Lynn Watson Bibliography
* Lynn Watson Gallery
* Lynn Watson Undercover Timeline


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p216.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Paul Lewis, Rob Evans & Martin Wainwright, ‘Second police officer to infiltrate environmental activists unmasked’, The Guardian, 12 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  3. Paul Lewis, Rob Evans & Rowenna Davis, ‘Undercover policeman married activist he was sent to spy on’, The Guardian, 19 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Sean O'Neill, ‘Police infiltrator in fear for her life after gang cover is blown’, The Times, 20 April 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Paul Lewis, Rob Evans & Martin Wainwright, ‘Mark Kennedy knew of second undercover eco-activist’, The Guardian, 10 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sir John Mitting, Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit and its predecessor/successor units Ruling 1 and 'Minded to' 2, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 30 October 2018.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Camp for Climate Action, ‘Camp for Climate Action’, Camp for Climate Action homepage, 6 January 2014 (accessed via 22 May 2014).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p223.
  9. infiltrators, ‘Lynn Watson’, Infiltrators & Informers blog, 8 March 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  10. Undercover Research Group: details of the second encounter, by someone who is said to have known her through the Action Medics group have yet to be ascertained.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p235.
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.21 12.22 12.23 12.24 12.25 12.26 12.27 12.28 12.29 12.30 12.31 12.32 12.33 12.34 12.35 12.36 12.37 12.38 Undercover Research Group interview with 'Sarah' and 'Tom Winter', two activists who worked closely with Lynn Watson, 11 August 2015.
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 13.16 Undercover Research Group interview with 'Sam', a Leeds based activist who had been close to Lynn Watson, 11 August 2015.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p222.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p217.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Companies House, ‘Ms Lynn Watson’,, 2014 (accessed 12 May 2014).
  17. Undercover Research Group note: Current understanding of the legend-building is to ensure that as many biographical details match or come close to those of the undercover officer's real identity. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the birth date details provided by Lynn Watson to Companies House are close to those of the police officer presenting as her.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Undercover Research Group: undated notes from 'Nick', an campaigner who knew Lynn Watson.
  19. 19.00 19.01 19.02 19.03 19.04 19.05 19.06 19.07 19.08 19.09 19.10 Rajeev Syal & Martin Wainwright, ‘Undercover police: Officer A named as Lynn Watson’, The Guardian, 19 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p225.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p237.
  22. Lynn Watson,, 2015 (accessed 31 August 2015).
  23. Undercover Research Group note: It is not known if Taurus care agency existed; a search has not uncovered them, though they may have ceased to exist in any case for other reasons. There is Taurus Healthcare but it does not seem to have existed prior to 2012.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Activist Security Collective, ‘ statement on Lynn Watson’, (website), 19 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  25. Undercover Research Group: she is registered to this address in Common Place records, and on the Electoral Roll for 2005.
  26. Lynn Watson appears on the Electoral Roll at this address for 2006-2008. Search conducted by Undercover Research Group, August 2015.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p219.
  28. Martin Wainwright, ‘Climate change protesters hijack coal train’, The Guardian, 13 June 2008 (accessed 25 May 2014).
  29. Drax protesters plead climate change cause to jury, The Guardian, 1 July 2009 (accessed 29 August 2015).
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Paul Lewis & Rob Evans, ‘Met facing mounting crisis as activist spying operation unravels’, The Guardian, 20 October 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  31. 31.0 31.1 unknown author, ‘350 march on Titnore!’, The Pork-Bolter number 46, July 2002 (accessed 15 May 2014).
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp(aign), ‘Domestic Extremists Or Domestic Goddesses?’, AWPC website, 8 February 2011 (accessed 22 May 2014).
  33. 33.00 33.01 33.02 33.03 33.04 33.05 33.06 33.07 33.08 33.09 33.10 33.11 33.12 33.13 ABC Anarres, ‘Three undercover political Police unmasked as infiltrators into UK Anarchist, Anti-Fascist and Climate Justice movements’, Indymedia UK, 19/01/11 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  34. 34.0 34.1 Dr Sian Jones, ‘Of sledgehammers and nuts: counter-terrorism and anti-nuclear protest’, Action AWE website, 2014? (accessed 16 May 2014).
  35. 35.0 35.1 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p261-262.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Tilly Gifford, David Miller, Melissa Jones, Gemma Larsen & Eveline Lubbers, ‘Mark Kennedy: A chronology of his activities’, Powerbase website, last amended 18 February 2013 (accessed 22 May 2014).
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 mini mouse, ‘Campers Glue on to DfT’, Indymedia UK, 17 August 2007 (accessed 16 May 2014).
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Werewolf, ‘More pics from today's DfT protest’, Indymedia UK, 17 August 2007 (accessed 16 May 2014).
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Camp for Climate Action, ‘Climate Activists Blockade Department For Transport To Stop Airport Expansion’, Indymedia UK, 17 August 2007 (accessed 16 May 2014).
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 40.4 40.5 Solomon Hughes, ‘The long arm (and big feet) of the law…’, Morning Star, 27 January 2011 (accessed via 25 May 2011).
  41. 41.0 41.1 IMC Leeds Bradford, ‘Mass blockade at Menwith Hill US base, Friday March 19th’, Indymedia UK, 19 March 2004 (accessed 15 May 2014)."
  42. 42.0 42.1 I Saw You, ‘2004 Leeds’, Indymedia UK, 15 January 2011 (accessed 16 May 2014).
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 journeymanpictures, ‘Undercover Clown Cop: Lynn Watson – UK’, YouTube, 7 February 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  44. 44.0 44.1 Channel 4 News, ‘Undercover police officer filmed in clown costume’, Channel 4 News website, 25 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  45. murp, ‘Lynn G8 Russia correction’, Sheffield Indymedia, 18 January 2011 (accessed 24 May 2014).
  46. 46.0 46.1 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p221
  47. Paul Lewis & Rob Evans, ‘Police spies court case suggest sexual relations with activists were routine’, The Guardian, 17 January 2013 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  48. Sleaze-watch, ‘She may not have put it about like Shagger Stone…’, Indymedia UK, 19 January 2014 (accessed 16 May 2014).
  49. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p221-222.
  50. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p222-225.
  51. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p223-224.
  52. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p224.
  53. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p236-237.
  54. That ‘Chris’ used the name ‘Lynn’ to address her offers little clue as to either his status - civilian or police officer. As Evans and Lewis asserted in their book regarding the selection of a false identity by SDS officers, ”Wherever possible, spies were required to find someone who shared their first name. This was important: it was notoriously difficult to suddenly adopt a completely different first name. Peter Francis further asserted that “It doesn’t matter how good you think you are, if you are undercover as ‘David’ and you’re walking down the road and someone behind you starts shouting out ‘David’, there’s no way in the world you’re ever going to turn around, so you don’t change your first name.” (See Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p110.) All cases in which both the cover name and real identity of an undercover officer are known bear this out, whether Special Demonstration Squad or NPOIU: ‘Peter Black’ (or ‘Daley’ for Francis, ‘Mark Stone’ for Mark Kennedy, ‘Bob Robinson’ for Bob Lambert, ‘Jim Sutton’ for Andrew ‘Jim’ Boyling, ‘John Barker’ for John Dines, and ‘Mark Cassidy’ for Mark Jenner.
  55. 55.0 55.1 Paul Lewis, Rob Evans & Vikram Dodd, ‘Revealed: Second undercover police officer who posed as activist’, The Guardian, 13 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  56. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p234-238.
  57. Merrick, ‘undercover relationships were approved: the evidence’, bristling badger blog, 10 February 2013 (accessed 25 May 2014).
  58. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p224-225.
  59. Undercover Research Group interview with a member of the Activist Security Collective, 2015.
  60. HMIC, A review of national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, 2012 (accessed 16 April 2014), pp37-38.
  61. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p236.
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 Undercover Research Group: communication from 'Tomo', a Leeds activist involved in The Common Place, September 2015.
  63. Information communicated to Undercover Research Group by those who investigated Lynn Watson following her disappearance.
  64. 'quiteliketheguardianactually', ‘Officer A’, Indymedia UK, 13 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  65. Paul Lewis, ‘How the scandal of Scotland Yard's secret spy unit emerged’, The Guardian (, 6 March 2014 (accessed 12 September 2014).
  66. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013, p220.
  67. IMC Leeds Bradford, ‘Independence day at Menwith Hill’, Indymedia UK, 7 July 2004 (accessed 15 May 2014).
  68. Paul Lewis, Guy Grandjean & Rob Evans, ‘Police spy Lynn Watson filmed in clown costume at anti-war protest’, The Guardian, 25 January 2011 (accessed 10 May 2014).
  69. CIRCA, ‘Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army’, CIRCA website homepage, 2007 (accessed 22 May 2014).
  70. unknown author, ‘A Radical new free space opening in Leeds centre this autumn’, The Rabble Rouser no. 4, September 2004 (accessed via, 16 May 2014).
  71. Leeds Social Centre Ltd,, undated (accessed 31 August 2015).
  72. UK Action Medics, ‘UK Action Medics’, UK Action Medics homepage, 2006 (accessed 22 May 2014).
  73. Her Majesty's Government, Companies Act 2006, The Stationery Office Limited/HMSO, 2006 (accessed 30 May 2014).
  74. That this was an offence was confirmed in correspondence between the Breaches and Technical Offences Teams of Companies House and a URG researcher, 30 May 2014. Section 1112 of the Companies Act 2006 state:
    1112 General false statement offence
    (1) It is an offence for a person knowingly or recklessly—
    (a) to deliver or cause to be delivered to the registrar, for any purpose of the Companies Acts, a document, or
    (b) to make to the registrar, for any such purpose, a statement, that is misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular.
    (2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—
    (a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine (or both);
    (b) on summary conviction—
    (i) in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or both);
    (ii) in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or both).
  75. Undercover Research Group, Marco Jacobs Undercover Timeline,, undated (accessed 30 August 2015).
  76. Undercover Research Group, unpublished research.
  77. Sir John Mitting, Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit and its predecessor/successor units 'Minded to' Note, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 2 May 2018.
  78. Steven Gray, 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 name of officers of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit and its predecessor/successor units, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 2 May 2018.
  79. Sir John Mitting, Core participants: Ruling 24, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 30 October 2018 (accessed 4 January 2019).