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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
National Public Order Intelligence Unit
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Alias: unknown
Deployment: 2000s
cover officer

EN31 is the cipher given to a former officer of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit who acted as a cover for approximately six years, including for Mark Kennedy. The Undercover Policing Inquiry has indicated that it will not restrict the officer's real name.[1][2]

For the N cipher system see N officers page.

In the Undercover Policing Inquiry

  • 15 November 2018: The inquiry indicated that it was minded to reject the application to restrict EN31's real name, with a closed hearing to take place late 2018.[2] Mitting wrote:[1]
EN31 served as a cover officer for approximately six years. EN31 was cover officer for Kennedy and for EN42. Events during and after the deployment of Kennedy have given rise to legitimate public concern. They must be publicly explored, in detail, to permit the Inquiry to fulfil its terms of reference. EN31 has important evidence to give about these events. Like all others who played a significant part in them, EN31 should, in principle, give evidence in public in his/her own name unless countervailing considerations preclude it. They do not. For the reasons explained in the closed note which accompanies these reasons, I am satisfied that the risk to the safety of EN31, about which s/he has expressed concerns, are, at worst, low - more likely, negligible. It is inevitable that there will be unwelcome attention from traditional and non-traditional media which w ill interfere with the right to respect for EN31 and EN31's family's private and family life. This is likely to be at its greatest w hen EN31 's name is published and w hen evidence is given by and about EN31 and Kennedy. An unpleasant threat has also been made on an anarchist website originating in Greece ("Contrainfo") against undercover officers and specifically Kennedy:
"We will strive to ensure that their lives are filled with misery and constant insecurity. A life where they can never be sure that they are not being watched and where they always fear that they may be recognised by someone who hates them."
The risk assessor assesses that this gives rise to a threat to EN31, as Kennedy's cover officer, in the "medium" category. I am not convinced by this assessment. No harm has come to Kennedy. There is no reason to believe that those who have made this threat are capable of carrying it out against EN31, still less against anyone else. It has the hallmarks of an idle threat.
EN31 also relies on the understanding that his/her identity would be kept secret from the moment s/he joined the National Public Order Intelligence Unit. This understanding was always subject to the qualification that, if the public interest required it, s/he could be required to give evidence in his/her real name. The public interest does so require . Further, the significant, but transient, interference in the right of EN31 and EN31 's family to respect for their private and family life is justified by the need for EN31 to account publicly for the events surrounding Kennedy's deployment under Article 8(2) of the European Convention.