Looking for Bob Lambert in the late 1990s

Bob Lambert
Bristle Chris / Undercover Research Group
30 April 2015

So just what did former spycop, SDS manager and later academic Bob Lambert get up to in the late 1990s?

Working on a series of articles about our old friend Dr Bob for the Undercover Research Group’s wiki project, it struck me that it’s just not clear what Lambert did between leaving SDS sometime after August 1998 and the establishment of the Muslim Contact Unit in January 2002.

Biographies – which no doubt he himself penned – indicate that Lambert remained with Metropolitan Police Special Branch since joining it in 1980 (see, for example, Bob Lambert, ‘Reflections on Counter-Terrorism Partnerships in Britain’ (Arches, 2007) – this biography notes that “Bob worked continuously as a Special Branch specialist counter-terrorist/counter-extremist intelligence officer from 1980” until the setting up of MCU at the beginning of 2002). Certainly, no evidence has so far come up to suggest he was involved in, for example, Territorial Policing, that he was transferred to other Special Branch-equivalent units such as the Anti-Terrorist Branch, or that he transferred to a police force other than the Metropolitan Police Service. Continue reading

Sitting in the Spycops Priority Area

Reposted from Bristling Badger blog by Merrick.kennedy setchell
28 April 2015

Wrongful convictions, Kennedy, Drax – II.

Further to the last post about police authorisation documents for Mark Kennedy’s deployment for the Drax coal train action in 2008, there is a page in that sheaf by Anton Setchell, who was then the National Co-ordinator for Domestic Extremism (NCDE).

This was the person with oversight of three political policing units – Kennedy’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit, the corporate advisory National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit, and the National Domestic Extremism Team (if the tangle of units dizzies your brain, see this overview).

That Setchell took the time to hand write a side of A4 just to be supportive of the renewal of Kennedy’s deployment is significant. Continue reading

It’s Not Just Activists

Re-posted Bristling Badger blog by Merrick.Kennedy No intrusion
26 April 2015

Wrongful convictions, Kennedy, Drax – I.

In June 2008 a group of 29 climate activists stopped a coal train bound for Britain’s biggest source of carbon emissions, Drax power station. They were all convicted, but it was a miscarriage of justice as evidence had been withheld  from the defence – reports from one of the drivers, Mark Stone aka undercover police officer Mark Kennedy. The convictions were quashed last year.

Quite how many other wrongful convictions are being left to stand – hundreds? thousands? – is unknown. It’s worth noting that Mark Ellison QC’s report into it was projected to take a year and be published in March, yet we’ve still seen nothing, implying that it’s turned out to be a larger task than aniticipated. Continue reading

‘Move along’: Martin Hewitt & the Met’s agenda of cover up.

Peter Salmon / Undercover Research Group

23 April 2015

Martin Hewitt

Martin Hewitt

The role of Assistant Commissioner is the third highest in the policing hierarchy, so when someone is appointed ‘in a new Assistant Commissioner role responsible for the MPS response to the public inquiry on undercover policing’ you know they are taking the matter seriously. Martin Hewitt got this job in June 2014.

It turns out that Hewitt official title is Assistant Commissioner for Professionalism and he has all sorts of interesting roles to those following the sagas of undercover policing and police corruption. It is he who now has oversight of the investigation into the mass shredding of Operation Othona files – a large intelligence based operation investigating corrupt Met officers, including a number associated with the investigating into the deaths of Stephen Lawrence and Daniel Morgan. Both very long standing issues of great sensitivity for the Met. He is also leading the Met’s response to the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel. Continue reading

Special Branch collusion with Southampton University security

Peter Salmon / Undercover Research Group
16 April 2015

Tuesday’s High Court decision to allow the University of Southampton to shut down a conference on Israel is a shocking attack on free speech. We will not go into the detail of it, other than to point you at the article by Asa Winstanley here. Asa attended the Court hearing and what he told us confirmed a suspicion we have aired in a previous blog posting, that collusion between Special Branch and the private security world is still ongoing. Continue reading

The roots of PREVENT: the National Co-ordinator for Special Branch

Special Branch logoPeter Salmon / Undercover Research Group
8 April 2015

Special Branch and the undercover units are by their nature a murky world with a culture of secrecy and unaccountability. It is not just the undercover officers that are kept protected behind a shield of denial and obfuscation, but also those in charge. These units and their bosses are rarely given a public profile, and generally only obliquely referred to. We have been following these scant trails and fleshing out the detail behind these units.

Obscurity can mean unimportant. Or it can be a sign of something being protected. The National Co-ordinator for Special Branch (NCSB) is definitely the latter. Though never mentioned in relation to undercover policing, it now appears that they were in the direct chain of command for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit – and thus had oversight of the likes of Mark Kennedy, ‘Lynn Watson’ and ‘Marco Jacobs.’

Special Branch are the political police. Continue reading