#017/2013 – HMIC publishes an update on progress against the recommendations of its 2012 undercover policing report, and confirms its intention to conduct a further inspection

In 2012, HMIC published a report on the use of a specific type of undercover policing operation: long-term, intelligence-gathering deployments within domestic extremist or protest groups, conducted by the (since disbanded) National Public Order Intelligence Unit. This report made a series of recommendations, which aimed to ensure the use of these deployments is appropriate and proportionate.

In April 2013, HMIC reviewed the extent to which the recommendations of the 2012 report have been implemented. This report, which was presented to the Home Secretary earlier in June 2013 and is published today, found some significant work had taken place as a result of the 2012 report. However, HMIC was concerned that the recommendations had not been fully implemented.

HMIC has made a commitment, both in this report and in its inspection programme for 2013/14 (published earlier in the month), to undertake further inspection of undercover policing. Terms of reference for this piece of work will be published shortly.

HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Tom Winsor, said;

“This week’s coverage concerning the deployment of undercover police officers – and in particular, the serious allegations in relation to members of the Lawrence family, and Duwayne Brooks – has rightly resulted in much debate about how the tactic has been and should be used. As Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, I share the concerns of the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, and the public in this regard.

“On 10 June 2013, in its published inspection programme for 2013/14, HMIC scheduled work on a major review of undercover policing. This new inspection will cover all 43 Home Office police forces in England and Wales, including of course the Metropolitan Police, and will examine, evaluate and report on the sufficiency, effectiveness and efficiency of the present-day systems, processes and practices for the deployment of undercover police officers, including in relation to their operation in accordance with the requirements of the law.

“The Home Secretary has already announced two inquiries into the deployment of officers from the (now disbanded) Special Demonstration Squad. Together with HMIC’s 2013/14 inspection of current practice, these will materially assist in ensuring that allegations of the misuse of current undercover policing tactics should never validly be made.”


Notes to Editors

  1. The report, 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, can be found at www.hmic.gov.uk
  2. HMIC is an independent inspectorate, inspecting policing in the public interest, and rigorously examines the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces to tackle crime and terrorism, improve criminal justice and raise confidence. HMIC inspects all 43 police forces in England and Wales together with other major policing bodies.
  3. For further information, HMIC’s press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday on 0203 513 0600.
  4. HMIC’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217 729.