Mike Chitty a.k.a. Mike Blake, was an undercover officer with the Special Demonstration Squad who infiltrated the animal rights movement in south London in the 1980s. Prior to that he had been with Special Branch in Bermuda. Almost all that is known of him comes from chapter 6 of Undercover, the expose of undercover policing by two Guardian journalists, Rob Evans and Paul Lewis.
Chitty is notable for having ‘gone native’: after his deployment finished, he returned to the group he had targeted, the South London Animal Movement. He continued socialising with them while remaining a police officer – including attempting to restart one relationship with a woman he had been seeing while undercover. His behaviour lead to a long investigation of him by fellow Special Branch and SDS officer Bob Lambert, and his eventual departure from the police. He has subsequently moved to South Africa.
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The European Co-operation Group on Undercover Activities (ECG-UA) is an informal police network which facilitates the co-ordination and exchange of undercover police across Europe. Its areas of concern include of political dissent and organised crime. It came to light following questions by MP Andrej Hunko to the German Parliament about the activities of UK undercover officer Mark Kennedy in that country, though still little is known of it.
Mark Kennedy abroad
The role of UK undercover officer Mark Kennedy was raised at the ECG 2011 meeting after his exposure in late 2010. Kennedy’s first known overseas operation began with a visit to German in 2004, which happens to be in months following the creation of the ECG-UA’s ‘Memorandum of Understanding’. Not much later, in 2005, five German undercovers were seconded to the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPIOU – Kennedy’s unit) to police the G8 protests at Gleneagles – where Kennedy was also active. Kennedy also spend
time in Denmark, another ECG-UA country, first visiting in January 2007.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, QPM is a leading UK police officer who served as Chief Constable of Merseyside Police before becoming the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service.
Hogan-Howe is known as an outspoken officer. During his time at the Metropolitan police he has had to deal with various high profile events and policing scandals such as Plebgate, the spying on the Lawrence family, the targeting of journalists to obtain their sources and reviews into misbehaviour by undercover police.
Sir David Christopher Veness, CBE, QPM (born 20 September 1947) was Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations of the Metropolitan Police from 1994 to 2005 and Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security for the United Nations until 2008.
Oversight of undercover work
As head of Special Operations, Veness oversaw various units including counter-terrorism and the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), which targeted protesters. In this role Veness knew and worked closely with Bob Lambert of the SDS. The two men would have a long association, including through the work of the Muslim Safety Forum, and, after both had left the Police, at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence.
By October 2004, Veness was secretary of the ACPO’s Terrorism and Allied Matters (TAM) board. At the time, TAM was running the reorganised national domestic extremism units, including, including the National Public Order Intelligence Unit and its infiltration of protest movements during the time of Mark Kennedy and others. A number of Veness’s subordinate officers would go on to join the TAM board, including his former deputy Bob Quick who was its chair in 2008-2009.