Vincent Harvey

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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
Vincent James Harvey
Vince miller (headshot).jpg
Alias: Vince Miller, HN354
Deployment: 1976-1979
Socialist Workers Party

Vincent James Harvey is a former senior police officer who served as Director of the UK Division at the National Criminal Intelligence Service 1998 to 2003.[1] Prior to this he had been a Special Branch officer including serving as an undercover in the Special Demonstration Squad. For the purposes of the Undercover Policing Inquiry he was also referred to by the cipher HN354 (for the N cipher system see N officers).

While with the SDS he used the cover name Vince Miller to infiltrate the Socialist Workers Party from 1976 to 1979.[2] According to Sir John Mitting, Chair of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, the officer's 'deployment appears to have been unremarkable, despite the fact that he admitted four 'fleeting' sexual encounters with different females during his deployment - two of them with female members of the Walthamstow branch of the Socialist Workers Party. Mitting ruled the officers real name would be restricted.[3]

One of those from Walthamstow SWP was 'Madeleine', who was granted core participant status in the Undercover Policing Inquiry on 6 January 2021. While Harvey had initially characterised the relationship with her as a one night stand, Madeleine stated that the relationship lasted ‘upto two months’ and the potential of the relationship lasting seemed to her ‘to hold out a lot of promise’. She also provided material disproving Harvey's assertions.[4].

Following the statement from 'Madeleine', Mitting decided in March 2021 to revoke the restriction order over the real name.[5] In April 2021 both the undercover and 'Madeleine' gave live evidence during the Tranceh 1 Phase 2 of the Inquiry's evidential hearings. However, the restriction order over his real name was not revoked until September 2021 and it was subsequently made public.[6]

+++++ Last Updated 22 September 2021 +++++

As an SDS undercover officer

A full profile of Harvey's time as an undercover police officer is being prepared.

Photographs of Vincent Harvey, while undercover as 'Vince Miller', provided by 'Madeleine'.

Post undercover career

Operation Pragada

Operation Pragada ran from 1993 to 1994, the second of four investigations of sexual abuse of children in the care of Lambeth Council. Harvey, then a Detective Chief Inspector, was appointed by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ian Johnstone to look into allegations that Lambeth Council employees were involved in making and distributing making child pornography.[7] It ran concurrently with Operation Bell (1992-1994) which focused on sexual abuse by care worker Leslie Paul.[8][9]

These investigations, which also include Operations Middleton and Winter Key, were examined in detail by by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) as part of its wider remit examining historical child sexual abuse in Lambeth care homes. As such, Operation Pragada is addressed in a witness statement made by Detective Inspector Simon Morley of the Metropolitan Police Service. Unfortunately, it appears that much of the material regarding Op. Pragada in this statement has not been made public, and the underlying documents were only seen by DI Morley.[7][10]

A opening statement made behalf on some of the core participants in IICSA noted:[10]

DI Morley acknowledges that allegations of making and distributing pornography involving children were not thoroughly investigated by Operation Pragada. He records that that Lambeth did not want the police to dig too deeply. LAG1 ... was never interviewed on the wider allegations of child sexual abuse that she made. These are allegations that have remained uninvestigated since they surfaced ... in 1993. At present, this inquiry has relied on what DI Morley has uncovered of this issue and its investigation. Unfortunately, DI Morley doesn't pose the all-important "Why?" question: why wasn't crucial evidence followed up? None of the underlying documents from, for example, Operation Pragada, have been disclosed.

The operation came in for criticism by IICSA, which noted that opportunities to identify networks and links between offenders were missed by detectives.[11] IICSA on Lambeth council noted:[12]

Detectives failed to identify and investigate networks and links between offenders, despite the important and relevant information they held which should have been followed up. For example, when investigating the production of indecent images of children there was no liaison between the officers within Operation Pragada and Operation Bell to seek any material or information about Leslie Paul.

Another aspect of Pragada was to investigate allegations made by an individual identified publicly only as LAG1. According to IICSA:[13]

That investigation was concluded in 1993 following CPS advice that no further action be taken. LAG1 is understood to have made further allegations in 1994. Again, it is understood that these did not change the position and that a closing report by DCI Vincent Harvey concluded that LAG1’s allegations lacked credibility.

National Criminal Intelligence Service

Vince Harvey of the NCIS speaking at the launch of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency in December 1999

In 1998, Harvey is named Director of National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) as head of its UK Division, a title which later became UK Tactical Services Division. This appears to have been at rank of Assistant Chief Constable.[14]. He held the position until 2002, when he is succeed by Keith Bristow.[15] During this time he is one of the NCIS's senior managers, answering directly to the Director General John Abbott.

According to archives of the NCIS website, the UK Division 'targets UK serious and organised crime as it effects the UK' and included:[16][17] the NCIS regional offices in Midlands, North East, North West, Scotland, South East and South West and the Strategic and Specialist Intelligence Branch which was subdivided into:

  • Organised Crime Unit
  • Drugs Unit
  • Strategic Research & Development Unit
  • Specialist Crimes Unit (including Paedophile Section, Kidnap & Extortion, Counterfeit Section & Vehicle Crime)
  • Economic Unit
  • Football Unit

During his time at the NCIS, it had responsibility for the Animal Rights National Index (a forerunner of another undercover policing unit, National Public Order Intelligence Unit and the National Domestic Extremism Database. It had wide ranging surveillance powers, including telephone and email interception and covert surveillance, though it is not known if it had its own undercover unit.[18][19]

In April 2001, he gave evidence to the Northern Ireland Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on the Proceeds of Crime Bill,[20] while in 2003 he appears to have had specific responsibility for the economic crime unit as the director of Specialist Intelligence.[21] The NCIS website notes it responsibilities as:[22]

  • Economic Crime Branch
  • Specialist Intelligence Branch which included many of the same units as in previous years.
  • Special Projects Branch which:
consists of three units: Operations Support, Special Liaison, and National Source Management, which support police and national and international intelligence agencies with specialist services in gathering, analysis and intelligence dissemination.

Media appearance while with the NCIS

Vince Harvey made a number of media appearances during his time as a Director of the NCIS:

These are thoroughly unpleasant people who don't mind using any technique if it furthers their own cause.
Every image of a child being sexually abused is an image of a crime scene and each photograph is that of a victim. Using the sophisticated technology along with traditional detective and analytical work, we can now make sure there is no place for paedophiles operating online to hide.
  • July 2003: quoted as 'director of economic crime' at the NCIS in relation to a critical report that there was a 58,000 case backlog of on financial crime.[29]
  • September 2003: quoted as head of NCIS Economic Crime Branch on an increase in disclosure on money laundering from Scottish solicitors.[30]

In the Undercover Policing Inquiry

Vince Harvey of NCIS as he appears in a BBC news special investigation on organised crime in Essex, November 2000
  • 22 November 2017: directed that any application for anonymity from the MPS Legal Team by were to be made by 30 November, and for the MPS Designated Lawyer Team by 4 December 2017[31]
  • 29 November 2017: Metropolitan Police make application to restrict real name only.[32][33]
  • 15 Jan 2018: Mitting indicates he is minded to grant the restriction order over real name and that there was no application in relation to cover name which will be published in due course.[34] The Inquiry Chair also stated:[35]
In the unlikely event that any member of the public can be prompted to give evidence about his deployment publication of his cover name would serve that purpose.' Publication of real name is not necessary to permit the Inquiry to fulfil its terms of reference and would give rise to interference with his article 8 rights to private and family life.
  • 19 June 2018: cover name and target group released.[2]
  • 9 July 2018: provisional ruling to restrict real name.[36] Directed that any objections to this to be made by 20 July 2018.[37]
  • 30 July 2018: final ruling that HN354's real name will be restricted in the Inquiry.[38]
  • 9 October 2018: Restriction order granted over disclosure of any information by the Inquiry which would lead to the identification of HN354's real name.[6]
  • 6 January 2021: 'Madeleine' is designated as a core participant, being placed in Category [H], 'relationships'.[4]
  • 30 March 2021 (revised 6 April 2021): Mitting issues a ruling that HN354's real name will be revoked in light of 'Madeleine's witness statement, where she sets out the relationship with the undercover. There will be a delay in doing this because:[5]
It is, however, imperative that the risk of a seriously adverse impact on his immediate family member is not run. Madeleine accepts that it should not be. For that reason, the Inquiry will not publish the real name of HN354 before the risk has passed; and it will not be revoked before he gives evidence.
  • 21 September 2021: Mitting revoked the restriction order over HN354's real name.[6] The same day Harvey's witness statement is re-released containing the full real name, Vincent James Harvey.[39] Three photographs provided by 'Madeleine' of Harvey while he was undercover were also released through the Inquiry website.[40]


  1. Police & Constabulary Almanacs, R Maxwell & Co, various years.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Email to core participants, '20180619_UCPI_to_all_CPs_HN65_HN351_HN354', Undercover Policing Inquiry, 19 June 2018, referencing an update of the webpage
  3. Kate Wilkinson, Counsel to the Inquiry's Explanatory Note to accompany the Chairman's 'Minded-To' Note 12 in respect of applications for restrictions over the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad, Undercover Public Inquiry, 13 September 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Core participants Ruling 39, Recognised Legal Representatives Ruling 32, Cost of Legal Representation Awards Ruling 31 Application for a restriction order by ‘Madeleine' Undercover Policing Inquiry, 6 January 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sir John Mitting, Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad: Ruling 19, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 30 March 2021, revised 6 April 2021 (accessed 21 September 2021).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sir John Mitting, Revocation of a restiction order under Section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005: HN354, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 20 September 2021 (viewed 20 September 2021).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Det. Insp. Simon Morley, First witness statement, Metropolitan Police Service, 4 May 2020 (accessed via 22 September 2021). Page 25 onwards deal explicitly with Operation Pragada and set out its history, albeit in redacted form.
  8. Children in the care of Lambeth Council Investigation Report: Executive Summary, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, July 2021 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  9. For more detail on the issues within Lambeth Council, and the allegations Operation Pragada was set up to investigate, see the Children in the care of Lambeth Council Investigation Report, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, July 2021 (accessed 22 September 2021). Also see the contemporary 'Harris Report' which sets out some of the detail: Eithne Harris (Chair of Investigation Panel), Investigation into alleged breaches of the Council's Equal Opportunities Policies in the Housing Directorate ('Harris Report'), Lambeth Council, 22 December 1993 (redacted version accessed via
  10. 10.0 10.1 Transcript of hearing of 30 June 2020, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (accessed 22 September 2021). See page 102
  11. ‘Missed opportunities’ in investigations into decades of sexual abuse of children in care, Police Professional, 28 July 2021 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  12. Children in the care of Lambeth Council Investigation Report: Executive Summary, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, July 2021 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  13. The Lambeth Council Investigation - Opening Statement by Counsel to the Inquiry, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 24 June 2020 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  14. Both his predecessor Peter Clay, and successor Keith Bristow, are given the rank of Assistant Chief Constable, while the NCIS Director General has rank Chief Constable.
  15. Keith Bristow, Chairman, CCL Solutions Group, undated (accessed 21 September 2021).
  16. UK Division, National Criminal Intelligence Service], 1999 ( grab of, made 11 October 1999)
  17. UK], National Criminal Intelligence Service], 2001 ( grab of, made 8 April 2008).
  18. Andrew Clennell, Intelligence head to leave next year, The Guardian, 28 September 2002 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  19. Special Projects Branch, National Criminal Intelligence Service], 1999 ( grab of, made 9 October 1999).
  20. Minutes of Proceedings, Northern Ireland Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on Proceeds of Crime Bill, 26 April 2001 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  21. Police & Constabulary Almanac, R Maxwell & Co, 2003.
  22. Specialist Intelligence Branch, National Criminal Intelligence Service, 2003 ( grab of 6 July 2003).
  23. Jason Bennetto, Drug factories become Britain's new illegal cottage industry, The Independent, 27 June 1999 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  24. Scotland 'leading drugs battle', BBC News Online, 14 December 1999 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  25. Lords of the Mafia. Britain & Sicily.,, undated (accessed 22 September 2021).
  26. Essex gangland booms], BBC News Online, 27 November 2000 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  27. Looking for a quieter life, BBC News Online, 28 November 2000 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  28. Mass arrests over online child porn, BBC News Online, 20 May 2002 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  29. Jill Treanor, Money-laundering assault beefed up, The Guardian, 2 July 2003 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  30. Praise on anti-money laundering efforts, Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, 1 September 2003 (accessed 22 September 2021).
  31. Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstrations Squad - Directions, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 22 November 2017 (accessed 26 November 2017).
  32. Open application for a restriction order (anonymity) re: HN354, 'Metropolitan Police Service, 29 November 2017, published 9 July 2018).
  33. List of documents relating to SOS officers - published 09 July 2018, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 9 July 2018.
  34. Press notice - ‘Minded-to’ anonymity: Special Demonstration Squad Officers (HN13, HN296, HN304, HN339, HN340, HN354, HN356/124, HN61, HN819, HN109, HN9, HN66), Undercover Policing Inquiry, 15 January 2018 (accessed 15 January 2018).
  35. Sir John Mitting, Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad: 'Minded to' note 3, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 15 January 2018.
  36. Publication of documents relating to anonymity applications: National Public Order Intelligence Unit & Special Demonstration Squad, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 9 July 2018.
  37. Sir John Mitting, Applications for restriction orders in respect of real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad and of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit - Directions, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 3 July 2018.
  38. Sir John Mitting, Applications for restriction orders in respect of the real and cover names of officers of the Special Operations Squad and the Special Demonstration Squad: Minded to note 12 and Ruling 10, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 30 July 2018.
  39. Vincent Harvey, First Witness Statement of HN354 as supplemented, Metropolitan Police Service, signed 18 November 2019, supplemented 10 March 2021; reissued by Undercover Policing Inquiry on 21 September 2021 (accessed 21 September 2021).
  40. HN 354, Undercover Policing Inquiry - (accessed 21 September 2021).