National Domestic Extremism Database

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search
URG logo 1.png

This article is part of the Undercover Research Portal at PowerBase - investigating corporate and police spying on activists.

Part of a series on
Domestic Extremism
National Domestic Extremism Database
National Special Branch Intelligence System (NSBIS)
Parent Units:
circa 1999 to present

The National Domestic Extremism Database is a police database of individuals who have been associated with domestic extremism and protest, including public disorder.

The term Domestic Extremism is often used to distinguish so-called single issue campaigns or political groups with a militant edge from terrorist groups, and criminal activity was used as a nominator. However, the subsequent police units dealing with domestic extremism spied on political groups without a proper definition of what it entailed and the information stored in the National Domestic Extremism Database is wide-ranging and eclectic.

The existence of the database was revealed in October 2009 in a series of articles by the Guardian.[1] It has come under criticism for storing details of protestors who have had no involvement in criminal activities, their details being recorded for having attended otherwise lawful demonstrations and gatherings. Others included in the database were journalists[2] and politicians.[3]

Because of its secrecy, little is known about the database. These pages put together the findings of investigative journalism, requests under the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act and the fine-combing of official reviews and interviews with activists, presenting an overview of what is currently known about the National Domestic Extremism Database.

The string of police units dealing with spying on political groups sometimes had their own separate files, which has added to the confusion. It would appear that there were a number of separate databases initially, but that over time through organisational restructuring and increased integration of IT systems that these were merged. In 2014, it was disclosed in court during the John Catt case (see below), that what is commonly referred to as the National Domestic Extremism Database now forms part of the National Special Branch Intelligence System (NSBIS) which was developed under the aegis of the National Co-ordinator for Special Branch.

In January 2016 The Guardian revealed that a whistleblower from the Domestic Extremism unit, DS David Williams, had written a letter to Jenny Jones, deputy chair of the body overseeing the Metropolitan Police. In it he stated that the unit had been involved in a systemic destruction of records as part of an illegal cover up to suppress the extent to which they had been spying on her.[4]

See also:

Origins and ownership

Originally the database appears to have been managed by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) which was subsequently merged within the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) (since renamed the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit). Thus, except for the period 2006-2011 when the units were under the control of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the database has been managed by the Metropolitan Police Service. Initially these units were part of Special Branch (1999-2006), and latterly, since January 2012, within Counter Terrorism Command. It has since emerged that the database is part of the National Special Branch Intelligence System (NSBIS).

The database began as the Animal Rights National Index (ARNI), a project of Special Branch which had been assembling information related to animal rights activism during the 1980s and 1990s. After a period within the National Criminal Intelligence Service, it was passed in 1999 to the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). The NPOIU had been set up to gather information on protest movements on a national level, particularly animal rights, but also environmentalism and other active left-wing movements. As the NPOIU incorporated both the Northern and Southern Intelligence Units which focused on Travellers, the free party scene and various protests, it is likely that such information would also have been incorporated, especially where there was a cross-over of individuals across different forms of activism.

In 2003, the HMIC review of Special Branch (entitled 'A Need To Know') pointed out serious shortcomings in the National Special Branch Intelligence System (NSBIS). To overcome this, ACPO TAM was setting up NSBIS2 through the National Special Branch Technology Unit.[5] ACPO TAM's technical advisor in this was Graham Broom[6] of Cambridgeshire police, who would also play a role in the IT systems of the National Domestic Extremism Unit later. NSBIS aimed to 'afford the sharing of terrorist/extremist intelligence across the UK',[7] though it appears that in 2012 forces were still just integrating with it.[8][9] It has also emerged that the NSBIS database has the codename 'Fairway'.[10]

In 2006, the NPOIU was moved under the control of the National Coordinator Domestic Extremism (NCDE), placed alongside the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) and the National Domestic Extremism Team. In 2011, the three were merged into the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU), since renamed the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU).

At some point following the merge, the separate databases of the three organisations were combined.[11] Though it has not been confirmed, it would appear that the databases were merged into the NSBIS which is the common database referred to in subsequent reports as being used by the NDEDIU.[12]

After the undercover policing scandal: situation since 2011

Though the NDEU was stripped of its powers to run undercover operations within protest movements in 2011, it maintained its intelligence gathering role and thus its database as the 'sole national body for the collation and analysis of domestic extremism intelligence'.[13] The NDEU was subsequently reorganised into two groups: the Protest and Disorder Intelligence Unit, to collate and provide strategic analysis on protest and public disorder on the one hand, and the Domestic Extremism Intelligence Unit, which provides the same for domestic extremism intelligence in the UK and abroad on the other. Both use NSBIS as a common database.[12]

The 'NDEU database' was cleaned up and updated to new criteria for storing information, according to a review by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in June 2013.[12]

The July 2014 third report of Operation Herne looking into the undercover scandal[14] explains that the NSBIS holds Special Branch intelligence unsuitable to be stored on other MPS databases. "It contains documents that have a protective marking of "Secret" or below. This allows for the receipt, assessment, creation, amendment, deletion and dissemination for entry onto the National Special Branch Intelligence System (NSBIS)."

Confusion about the database

Since it existence was revealed by The Guardian there has been some confusion about the database, mainly caused by the Met refering to it by different names, such as 'domestic extremism database' or 'NPOIU database'. In particular, in a response to a 2013 FOIA request the Metropolitan Police explicitly mentioned the 'National Domestic Extremism Database' which only personel from the National Domestic Extremism Unit have access to.[15] Adding to the confusion is that reports from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in 2012 refer simply to a NDEU database,[13] though their 2013 report seems to acknowledge it as the NSBIS.[12]

Likewise during the December 2014 Supreme Court hearing in the case bought by John Catt, the barrister for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that the domestic extremism database was the same as the NSBIS, though it was pointed out that it had been consistently referred to as the 'domestic extremism database' in all previous case hearings.[16]

It remains to be clarified if there is a separate part of the NSBIS which can be specifically identified as the 'domestic extremism database'.

Material which was stored by the Special Demonstration Squad was, on its disbandment in 2008, amalgamated into an Metropolitan Police IT system and not kept as a standalone database according to the Metropolitan Police.[17] It is not know which system this was.

Excerpt from a page of Baroness Jenny Jones' file.

Other databases with protestor information

To add to the confusion, there are several other databases that also hold information on protesters. The three known at this point are:

  • CO11 Protestor Database is run internally by the Metropolitan Police's Public Order Unit (CO11), which also contains images of protestors.[18] Much of these are likely to have been provided by the Forward Intelligence Teams which were a part of CO11.[19]
  • Commander's Archive is a third database, which 'contains sensitive documentation which is not stored in MPS Special Branch records'. This archive relates to domestic extremism according to the third Herne Report.[14]
  • CrimInt is yet another database containing information on criminals, suspects and protestors. With general access by rank and file officers within the MPS it appears to have acted as an extensive general repository of information for the Metropolitan Police, and was fed into by Forward Intelligence Teams and Evidence Gatherers. Details logged on it, included the movement of protestors,[18][20]

Some facts about the National Domestic Exstremism Database

A later page from Baroness Jenny Jones' file. Note different format, something seen in other such files, indicating the files are being compiled from two different sources.

Various political activists of different backgrounds made Subject Access Requests under the Data Protection Act and indeed received the information held on them. These records have shed considerable light on the extent of monitoring of activism by the police.

Information stored - officially

  • Officially the 'records comprise of details of nominals (individuals), organisations, businesses and events'[15]
  • Material stored is covered by the Management of Police Information guidelines, while submitted material should follow the 5x5x5 model set out by the National Intelligence Model (see below).
  • Information stored includes detailed files on individuals, searchable by name.[1]
  • Some entries provide personal details such as addresses, phone number, email and date-of-birth and descriptions of appearance and clothes; while others cite the individual a person of interest for being connected to a campaign.
  • The criminal convictions are just mentioned at people's entries; full details remain on the Police National Computer.[21]

Information stored - actually

  • Examination of released files[22] indicate a relatively common format of date and time, event name / description, address / location, and then notes such as 'Speakers include' and 'The following subjects were identified' (often containing a description of identified speaker's role, and comments on what they spoke about).
  • Ian Driver's file includes notes such as 'main influence on action' in relation to Kent Against Live Exports, that he would be doing a press release for an upcoming rally - indicating that information may have come from covert surveillance.[23]
  • Also included in disclosed records are details of arrests, and instances were individuals have been recorded entering gatherings such as those for Earth First, Camp for Climate Action and animal rights. There are emails captured from activist lists such as FITWatch.
  • Open source material from the internet included newspaper articles where the subject is quoted and tweets.[24]
  • Most entries are cursory, rarely more than a couple of lines long, occasionally with a code such as XLW (extreme left wing) or LKA (presumably 'local Kent activist' in the case of Ian Driver's file) in them; very few indicate the source of the information.
  • While the NDEU claimed it did not focus on those who protested peacefully and lawfully, and was instead concerned with those who committed criminal offences,[25], it is clear that at least some of them such as Jenny Jones, John Catt, Ian Driver had no criminal convictions.
  • A number of journalists have also found their names on the database too.[26][27]

Misinformation stored as well

Some of the people who asked for their files discovered mis-identifications and mis-attributions, and in several cases outright falsehoods from the police – for instance in the details of the circumstances of an arrest. [28] People who made a Subject Access Requests under the Data Protection Act received material from two different databases. Examination of the released details suggests part of it comes from the Metropolitan Police's CrimInt database, while the other appears to come from the Domestic Extremism database as it contains material that seems the result of surveillance of activist gatherings. [28]

Where does the intelligence come from? Sources of information

Details on the database come from a variety of different sources, and remains 'owned' by the police force which supplied them.[25]

  • The NDEU sourced its intelligence from police forces, counter-terrorism units, industry and open sources across the full range of protest activity, according to a 2012 HM Inspectorate of Constabulary report. The Unit also 'submits bespoke intelligence requirements to law enforcement partners on particular groups and planned events of interest'.Not all intelligence received is put on file, but a subjective decision is made to its relevance. The force or unit which had provided the information receives feedback on why the intelligence failed to meet the NDEU's requirements.[13]
  • Information would come from police forces all over the country, where individual Special Branches and officers recorded what peopled did and said at protests. Around 2009, Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT)[1] in particular were a key source of images for the database as well. NETCU meanwhile had responsibility for collating post-event information from police forces on protests, such as location, numbers and duration.[25]
  • Given that material from FIT teams - a part of CO11 in the Metropolitan police - ended up in the national domestic extremism database, it is likely that information flowed in both directions, for instance through the provision of 'spotter cards' to FIT and Evidence Gatherers. The Ellison Report for instance, reported that Special Branch units, including the Special Demonstration Squad, fed information into the Metropolitan Police's Racial and Violent Crimes Task Force (CO24) (set up in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry).[29] So it is not unreasonable to surmise that a similar process was taking place with CO11, and that its database contained processed intelligence provided in part from the Special Branch and related units.
  • Additionally, the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) scheme enabled the placing of a 'protest' marker against number plates of interest.[1] For many years animal rights activists attending large protests[30] noticed that police units monitored vehicles, often stopping them to take details; the activity of such ANPR 'interceptor teams' to monitor attendance at protest was confirmed by the Guardian in 2009.[1]
  • The NPOIU deployed intelligence gathering officers to a broad cross-section of protests, gatherings and publicly advertised meetings.[1] These included everything from hunt sabs to arms fair protests, community justice meetings, Camp for Climate Action, and anti-nuclear demonstrations. A number of these officers such as Ian Skivens, Mark Scully and Ian Caswell became well known for their regular attendance at such events across the United Kingdom.[31]
  • During the court case of Debbie Vincent, it was admitted by Caswell and another NPOIU officer Christopher Cowley, that they had frequently carried out surveillance of peaceful demonstrations including logging car number plates, taking photoraphs and making notes of when people entered / departed from gatherings.[32] Ian Skivens followed one protestor to hospital.[33]
  • As a NPOIU subunit, the Confidential Intelligence Unit, ran undercover agents such as Mark Kennedy, it is likely that some information on the database may also have come from this unit. Undercover officers would go through police photos of protests and identify people. For example, Peter Francis of the Special Demonstration Squad has stated he identified Duwayne Brooks during an examination of photographs from an anti-racism demonstration at the BNP headquarters in Welling in 1993.[34]
  • Ironically in 2005, a police infiltrator of the left wing group Globalise Resistance known as Simon Wellings was discovered when he accidentally rang a campaigner while analysing photographs from a protest. Information he provided to his police colleagues was very personal details including sexuality.[19]

Police Liaison Officers

Following active campaigns by protestors against the deployment of Forward Intelligence Teams at demonstrations (- including the now closed FITWatch) police have moved to deploying Police Liaison Officers (PLOs) instead. Not withstanding their friendly title, PLOs have formal intelligence gathering functions, including liaising with the NDEU,[35] and are encouraged to feed intelligence into CrimInt.[36] A number of PLOs are former FIT officers.[37]

Open source intelligence gathering

NETCU provided an 'open source gathering service between 2004-2010, taking material from websites and mainstream media for the database.[25]

In May 2013 Umut Ertogral, the 'head of open source intelligence with the UK Police National Domestic Extremism Unit', revealed in a private report to the Australian police (then preparing for the Brisbane G20 Summit), that the unit used a software tool called SOCMINT to monitor social media sites to gauge public mood.[38] It was apparently extensively used during the London 2012 Olympics and for 'predicting hotspots during the 2010 student protests' - including a call for a protest against a visit of Prime Minister David Cameron to King's Cross railway station that resulted in the arrests of 10 people.[39] It was also revealed that at the time, SOCMINT (which stands for 'Social Media Intelligence', a name given to this open source intelligence gathering technique[40]) it was being run by a staff of 17 people working around the clock, scanning Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other public forums used by UK citizens.[38] Ertogral reportedly said that YouTube effectively acted as CCTV and Google Glasses were 'another channel for us to explore and look at'.[41]

Blacklisting and exchange of information

A long-running campaign of the Black List Support group revealed that the police exchanged information with a secret employers' organisation to blacklist people that were considered a possible disturbing factor on the workfloor. Though evidence is piling up, the police continues to deny the exchange of information.

The Consultancy Association (CA) set up by the building industry was closed down after a raid by the Information Commissioner in 2009. Reviewing what was left of the CA files shows that the blacklists included information coming from Special Branch,[42] while NETCU still had meetings with the Consultancy Association to discuss exchanging information as late as 2008, just before the Consultancy Association was forced to close down.[43]

In 2011, the website for the NDEU (run by the National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism - NCDE), the database's parent organisation, explicitly said that no confidential information would be passed beyond the police:[25]

At no time does NCDE pass any police intelligence to anyone other than other police forces. The only information passed to industry, academia and other organisations has come from a public source, that anyone could find.
All information is handled by NCDE in accordance with the MoPI regulations, therefore information would only be passed on if it met the criteria for a policing purpose; namely the prevention crime and disorder.

However, the same webpage said NETCU (a sister unit to the one managing the database) is set up to provide information to parties under threat:

Acting as a crime prevention unit, NETCU also supports industry, academia and other organisations that have been or could be targeted by extremists. They collate open source information to provide a bigger picture of the issue, as well as providing security advice, risk assessments and information that can help minimise disruption, disorder and criminality if there is a protest and help them keep their employees safe.[25]

The information going to industry to protect them from protesters is not just coming from open sources, as was revealed during civil proceedings for injunctions against Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC). In particular, in breach of the law on data protection, the details of convictions of 52 animal rights campaigners were passed to lawyer Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden who was then representing numerous corporations seeking civil injunctions.[44][45] Dr Max Gastone, who represented SHAC at the time, noted that statements by Stephen Pearl, head of NETCU in favour of the injunctions would contain details of campaigners; he personally experienced a member of Lawson-Cruttenden's legal firm let slip details about his life that could only have come from police surveillance.[45]


The main criticism of the database, is that it facilitates the criminalisation of protest by recording the details of people exercising their right to protest regardless of whether their activity is illegal or not. Particularly, the monitoring and recording of lawful activity has a chilling effect on the exercise of this right, and potentially impacts on reputations whether or not an individual has committed a criminal act.[46] The right to protest is a specific article protected under the European Convention on Human Rights. Not all individuals on the database have criminal convictions,[47] while monitoring groups have noted that it contains details on a far wider group of people than are formally classified as 'domestic extremists' by the police.[48]

Corporate Watch pointed out that, if uncurbed, the database facilitates mass surveillance and criminalisation of protestors.[49]

what the police are really fighting for ... is the right to continue to criminalise people voicing dissent against the powerful, even if there is no proof that they have been involved in illegal acts. Because John Catt was involved in public acts of protest at a time when other people were carrying out illegal acts of direct action he was deemed a subject fit for police surveillance and harassment, even though there was no suggestion of any suspicion that he ever intended to break the law.

In March 2015, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling in the case of Catt, finding in favour of the police.[50] This was immediately met with anger by protest groups, who said it amounted to 'judicial approval for the mass surveillance of UK protest movements'.[51]

There was also of concern that the database was used in the creation 'spotter cards' of high profile individuals or activists regularly in attendance at protest. These were provided to police at large scale events such as the Camp for Climate Action[52] and the protests against the DSEi arms fair[1] - the latter, produced by CO11, included an image of prominent comedian Mark Thomas.[53]

David Howarth, the Liberal MP, said of the NPOIU in 2009 that it 'operates as a giant database of political activists'.[18] Five years later, following the revelations about Baroness Jenny Jones, the Green Party denounced the spying on and recording details of politicians.[54] Baroness Jones said the file on her 'was three pages of essentially gossip and reporting on speeches I had made or tweets that I had made.'[55] Baroness Jones has been an outspoken critic of the database and has put forward a number of challenges to it in the London Assembly and elsewhere.[56]

While it has been revealed that a number of MPs have been spied up on by Special Branch[57] the files seen by whistleblower Peter Francis referred to were for the period 1990-2001 so pre-date the setting up of the NDED / NSBIS. It is is not yet know whether or not these papers files were placed on the NSBIS database.


That term ' domestic extremism' has no legal basis[13] facilitated the inclusion of individuals otherwise acting lawfully. ACC Anton Setchell, National Coordinator Domestic Extremism who had overall responsibility for the database, said in 2009 in response to criticism of peaceful activist objecting to being monitored that:

'What I would say where the police are doing that there would need to be the proper justifications'.[1]

However, an ACPO spokesperson for the domestic units said people on that people on the database 'should not be worried' and:[1]

Not everyone on there is a criminal and not everyone on there is a domestic extremist but we have got to build up a picture of what is happening. Those people may be able to help us in the future. It's an intelligence database, not an evidence database.
Protesting is not a criminal offence but there is occasionally a line that is crossed when people commit offences.

Resistance and legal challenges

The criticism of police storing of information on lawful protestors resulted in two important legal challenges by people who discovered their details were recorded on the database, and an in-depth review by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary[13] who found deficiencies in the way information was recorded and retained (see below).

Following the discovery that a number of journalists were on the domestic extremism database, the National Union of Journalists encouraged its members to learn if they were on it too, and supported the action of Mark Thomas in his efforts to have his files deleted.[58]

In 2014, the Network for Police Monitoring (NetPOL) announced the campaign: "Don't Feed The Feds - Don't Be On a Database", encouraging people to assert their right not to end up on the domestic extremism database.[59][60]

During the Catt case, the barrister for the Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, Alex Bailin QC, made the point that mere retention of data could amount to an interference with privacy rights, and systemic collection and recording allowed profiling of an individual. This 'crossed the line' in that it was an interference with an individual's private life, paticularly as it was potentially stigmatizing and carried sensitive information such as poltical affiliation and activity.[16]

HMIC inspections

The 2012 HM Inspectorate of Constabulary report A Review of National Police Units which Provide Intelligence on Criminality Associated with Protest looked at the domestic extremism database and had a number of criticism of it.[13]

  • It noted that where information had been submitted by units or forces, checks to ensure correct information was being stored were uncommon.
  • The weeding policy introduced in the early 2000s was neither 'robust or formed definitive policy'.
  • '... in a number of cases the rationale for recording and retaining the intelligence was not strong enough (in terms of the 'necessity and proportionality' tests)'

The 2013 HMIC review did note that an effort had been made to clean up the database in line with its 2012 recommendations.[12]

HMIC also reported on a second database containing images of individuals taking at protest events. Though not named as such this would appear to be the CO11 database (see above). It found that this database held less than 2000 images, and had a stronger set of controls in with 2063 images deleted since June 2005, and concluded that 'the storage of virtually all images examined appeared justified'.[13]

Database size and images held

Requests under the UK Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act have shed some light on the amount of records held in the database. (Confusingly, some of the responses to FOIA requests (see below) contain explicit reference to an 'NPOIU / NDEU image database', which appears to be integrated within the system.)

In 2013 the total number of entities on the central database came to over 9,000[11] of which 8,931[61] were individuals with their own record.[62]. These details were held in 162,000 separate records.[15] By April 2014 the number of individuals with records on the database had fallen to 2,627.[63] In June 2014, this was down to around 2,500 individual records.[55]

The amount of images also decreased over the years, partly because of a ruling in the case of Wood v Metropolitan Police which said that most photos taken by Forward Intelligence Teams would be kept for a few weeks and not indefinitely, and would be legitimately used for the prevention of disorder or detection of crime, or to protect the rights and freedoms of others.

The CO11 database was said to initially have 2,500 images on it; this was reduced to around 1,500 in 2009 after an internal audit revealed 40% breached the ruling in the Andrew Wood case.[18] Some time in mid-2011, the number of photos on the NPOIU database was 1,822.[25] By September 2011 the CO11 Image Database had fallen to 69, while the 'NPOIU Image Database' contained 1470 images.[64]

On 1 November 2013, there were 3880 images on the NDEU database, not all photographs though as scanned documents were included as well.[65]

MoPI rules on retention of information

Management of the records are supposed to comply with the Management of Police Information (MoPI) statutory codes of practices,[55] and, following the rulings in the Wood and Catt cases, the European Convention on Human Rights.[25] However, it has been pointed out that the MoPI Code of Conduct do not mention domestic extremism.[66]

The rules governing retention by the police of individual details are set out in the MoPI code of practice issued by the National Policing Improvement Agency, and designed to be compliant with the law.[67] This guidance imposes a number of requirements on the storing of information by the police:

  • Police recording information should ensure, among other things, that it 'is for a policing purpose', and that it is 'accurate, adequate, relevant and timely'.
  • 'The time and amount of information held on an individual must not be excessive and must be proportionate to the risk they pose to the community'.
  • Regular reviews are required and documented.
  • Where records no longer have a policing purpose they should be destroyed, though if there is a concern the individual may re-offend this is a ground for keeping information, otherwise there will need to be a risk assessment.
  • Other than for certain serious or statutory offences, records should be kept for a minimum of six years before being reviewed for continuing relevance, and if kept after this, reviewed every five years.

Appendix 2 of the MoPI guidance also contains details for utilising the '5x5x5' form used in the National Intelligence Model for recording and evaluating intelligence. A copy of the form is available here.

Other Undercover Research resources

External Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Paul Lewis, Rob Evans & Vikram Dodd, Police in £9m scheme to log 'domestic extremists', The Guardian, 25 October 2009. Accessed 26 December 2013.
  2. Dominic Ponsford, [1], Press Gazette, 20 November 2014, accessed 27 January 2015.
  3. Rob Evans, Police say they have not counted how many politicians they have been monitoring, The Guardian, 19 June 2014, accessed 27 January 2015.
  4. Rob Evans, Officer claims Met police improperly destroyed files on Green party peer, The Guardian, 8 January 2016 (accessed 8 January 2016).
  5. David Blakey, A Need to Know, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, January 2003.
  6. Special Branch IT 'inadequate', Computing, 29 January 2003, accessed 14 December 2015.
  7. Chief Constable William Rae, QPM, Memorandum to the Select Committee on European Union, Association of Chief Police Officers of Scotland, 9 September 2004, accessed 27 January 2015.
  8. Report of the Chief Constable - Strategic Alliances, Avon and Somerset Police Authority, 28 March 2012, accessed 27 September 2015.
  9. A number of online sources indicate that closely associated with NSBIS is the secure messaging system known as Cluster.
  10. Jules Matteson, Journalists named on secret files, police admit, The Times, 11 November 2014, accessed 27 January 2015.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Metropolitan Police Service, Domestic Extremism - Response to a FOIA request of Declan Knight,, 1 November 2013, accessed 10 September 2014.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 A review of progress made against the recommendations in HMIC’s 2012 report on the national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, June 2013.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 A Review of National Police Units which Provide Intelligence on Criminality Associated with Protest, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, 2 February 2012.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Mick Creedon, Operation Herne Special Demonstration Squad Reporting: Mentions of Sensitive Campaigns, Metropolitan Police Service, July 2014, accessed 5 August 2014.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Metropolitan Police Service, FOI-NPOIU - Response to a FOIA request of Kyle Byrnes,, 7 January 2013, accessed 10 September 2014.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Day 3 of the John Catt ‘domestic extremism’ Supreme Court hearing, The Network for Police Monitoring (NetPol), 4 December 2014, accessed 15 January 2015.
  17. Response to a FOIA request by Emily Apple (ref: 2012020000210), Metropolitan Police Service, 29 March 2012, accessed 31 August 2014.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Eco anarchists: A new breed of terrorist? Police forces challenged over files held on law-abiding protesters, The Guardian, 26 October 2009, accessed 5 September 2014.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Undercover police work revealed by phone blunder, BBC News Online, 25 March 2011, accessed 10 September 2014.
  20. Paul Lewis and Marc Vallée, Caught on film and stored on database: how police keep tabs on activists, The Guardian, 9 March 2009, accessed 10 September 2014.
  21. Response to a FOIA request by David Cinzano, Metropolitan Police Service, 27 December 2013, accessed 31 August 2014.
  22. Private communication from those who have conducted successful Subject Access Requests to the database; see also the publicly released files Jenny Jones and Ian Driver (infra).
  23. Metropolitan Police disclosure following a Subject Access Request by Mr. Ian Driver, StateWatch, 23 October 2013, accessed 10 September 2014.
  24. For example, see selection of Jenny Jones' records at: Martin Hoscik Is the Met guilty of an indiscriminate approach to gathering intelligence?, (blog), 11 November 2013, accessed 2014.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 25.7 National Co-ordinator Domestic Extremism, Frequently Asked Questions, Association of Chief Police Officers, undated (internal evidence indicates it was modified around 2011), archived by Undercover Research Group.
  26. Mark Thomas, Help the NUJ expose the monitoring of journalists, National Union of Journalists, 20 November 2013, accessed 10 September.
  27. Oscar Webb, Am I on the domestic extremist database?, London Review of Books, 24 March 2015 (accessed 25 March 2015).
  28. 28.0 28.1 Personal communications with those who have carried out a Subject Access Request to the Metropolitan Police.
  29. Mark Ellison, The Stephen Lawrence Independent Review, UK Government, 6 March 201
  30. Private communication with animal rights campaigners active in the 2000s.
  31. Farewell to NETCU: A brief history of how protest movements have been targeted by political policing, Corporate Watch, 19 January 2011, accessed 10 September 2014, citing (original website no longer available).
  32. Blackmail3 Solidarity, Blackmail3 Court Case Update, Indymedia UK, 16 March 2014, accessed 26 August 2014.
  33. @piombo (Esoteric Affect), Came out of minor injuries unit to see DC Ian Skivens, #NPOIU / #NDEU waving at me. No one deserves that.,, 27 July 2013, accessed 10 September 2014.
  34. Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Faber & Faber, 2013
  35. Police Liaison "Gateway" Team, Metropolitan Police Service, document released following an FOIA of Kevin Blowe and published by Netpol in June 2014, accessed August 2014.
  36. Metropolitan Police Service, Standard Operating Procedure for the Operational Deployment of Protestor Liaison Teams (PLT's) in the MPS,, September 2013, accessed 10 September 2014. This material is part of a number of documents on Police Liaison Officers released by the MPS in response to a FOIA request by Kevin Blowe. See the Statewatch article Policing of protest: documents on Police Liaison Officers released following Freedom of Information request' for more detail.
  37. Police Liaison Officers, Network for Police Monitoring, undated, accessed 10 September 2014.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Paul Wright, Meet Prism's little brother: Socmint, Wired, 26 June 2013, accessed 26 August 2014.
  39. Andrew Colley, AFP seeks social media monitoring tools, The Australian, 23 May 2013, accessed 26 August 2014, paywalled.
  40. Social media intelligence, Wikipedia, undated, accessed 26 August 2014.
  41. Aman Jain, Google Glass May Help In Investigations: U.K. Police ,, 23 May 2013, accessed 26 August 2014.
  42. Tim Lezard, Cops called as blacklisted workers attempt citizen's arrest, Union News, 22 February 2014, accessed 20 September 2014.
  43. Oral Evidence before the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, Parliament.UK, 12 March 2013.
  44. Re-visiting NETCU - Police Collaboration with Industry, CorporateWatch, 6 August 2014, accessed 10 September 2014.
  45. 45.0 45.1 Personal communication with Dr Max Gastone.
  46. Statement of Case in the Supreme Court hearing of John Catt & ors., The Network for Police Monitoring, 20 November 2014, accessed 27 January 2015.
  47. Rob Evans & Owen Bowcott, Green party peer put on database of 'extremists' after police surveillance, The Guardian, 15 June 2014, accessed 10 September 2014.
  48. Spies in Blue Bibs, Network for Police Monitoring, 21 October 2013, accessed 10 September 2014.
  49. Will the Supreme Court give police the 'right' to mass surveillance?, Corporate Watch, 9 December 2014, accessed 27 January 2015.
  50. The Supreme Court, Judgment in case of Catt v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis & ors, 2015 UKSC 9, releaesd 4 March 2015 (accessed 4 March 2015).
  51. Network for Police Monitoring, Supreme Court grants “judicial approval for the mass surveillance of UK protest movements”, 4 March 2015 (accessed 4 March 2015).
  52. Personal Communication from a campaigner who was informed that their image was on a police spotter overseen at the Camp for Climate Action in 2006.
  53. Mark Thomas, Doth I protest too much?, The Guardian 25 October 2009, accessed 10 September 2014.
  54. The police’s secret surveillance of elected politicians with no criminal record is scandalous, The Green Party (press release), 16 June 2014, accessed 10 September 2014.
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 Green Party politician Jenny Jones on 'domestic extremist' database, BBC News Online, 16 June 2014, accessed 10 September 2014.
  56. Jenny Jones, Witness Statement of Baroness Jenny Jones, November 2014, archived at, accessed 27 January 2015.
  57. Rob Evans & Rowena Mason, Police continued spying on Labour activists after their election as MPs, 25 March 2015 (accessed 5 May 2015). Francis names Abbott, Corbyn and Grant as those he spied upon.
  58. UK: Files on politicians, journalists and peace protestors held by police in "domestic extremist" database, Statewatch News Online, November 2013, accessed 10 September 2014.
  59. Don't Feed The Feds - Don't Be On a Database, Network for Police Monitoring, undated, accessed 10 September 2014.
  60. CALL OUT: Help Netpol’s legal challenge of secret police databases, The Network for Police Monitoring, 11 March 2014, accessed 31 August 2014.
  61. Metropolitan Police Service, Compliance with the Catt Judgement - Response to a FOIA request of Matthew Varnham,, 12 September 2013, accessed 10 September 2014.
  62. Paul Lewis, Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd, National police unit monitors 9,000 'domestic extremists', The Guardian, 26 June 2013, accessed 31 August 2014.
  63. Metropolitan Police Service, National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit - Response to FOIA request made by Kevin Blowe (No: 2014030001361),, 11 April 2014.
  64. Metropolitan Police Service, Number of Images on CO11 and NPOIU databases- Response to a FOIA request of Emily Apple,, 19 September 2013, accessed 10 September 2014. Note, this figure of 8,931 relates to a 2011 request though it has been reprinted as being the case in 2013.
  65. Metropolitan Police Service, Police - Response to FOIA request of Ashley Davis of 5 November 2013 to the Metropolitan Police Service,, 5 December 2013, accessed 30 August 2014.
  66. Day 2 of the John Catt ‘domestic extremism’ Supreme Court hearing, The Network for Police Monitoring (NetPol), 3 December 2014, accessed 15 January 2015.
  67. Guidance on the Management of Police Information, National Policing Improvement Agency, 2010 (2nd Edition), accessed 10 September 2014.