The spycops’ supervisors who remain accountable

Undercoverinfo logoAfter the unreserved apology of the Metropolitan Police to the eight women conceding undercover relationships were an abuse of power and violated women’s human rights, Tom Coburg did an overview of the supervisors responsible for the #spycops, their tasking and their behaviour – based on Undercover Research profiles.

Repost of Undercoverinfo blog, by Tom Coburg, originally 20 November 2015

The undercover officers with whom the women had relationships were employed by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). Four of these officers worked within the MPS’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). Other officer worked within the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU).

  • Detective Chief Inspector Richard May: described in newspaper articles as Mark Kennedy‘s boss while at the NPOIU. He is noted for confirming to French police that the NDEU had intelligence related to the Tarnac case, which is thought to have come from Kennedy’s attendance at a 2008 meeting of European anarchists in France. However, he also told police that the ‘source of this intelligence will never be revealed and no formal statements will be provided’.

  • ACC Anton Setchell was the National Coordinator Domestic Extremism, with rank of Assistant Chief Comissioner, answering to ACPO from July 2004 to November 2010. Setchell was on secondment from Thames Valley Police, where he had previously organised policing at the biotech lab being targeted by the SPEAK campaign. He subsequently became head of Global Security for the infrastructure and services company, Laing O’Rourke.
  • DCS Adrian Tudway had served as deputy to Anton Setchell from January 2010; in November 2010 he was appointed Setchell’s successor as National Co-ordinator Domestic Extremism, though at the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent. He would oversee the merger of the different units into the National Domestic Extremism Unit, remaining as its head until replaced by Greany. He was later seconded to the Home Office.
  • DCS Christopher Greany replaced Adrian Tudway as head of the National Domestic Extremism Unit in March 2012. In 2010 he was appointed head of counter terrorism for City of London Police and in 2011 led Operation Withern, which investigated crimes committed during the London Riots of 2011. DCS Greany oversaw the transformation of the NDEU into the NDEDIU, remaining as head of the latter. Towards the end of September 2014 he left NDEDIU and was promoted to Commander, heading up the National Police Coordination Centre.
  • Ronnie Liddle was ACPO ACC for Counter Terrorism, December 2012 – February 2014. Based at the Metropolitan Police, he was co-ordinator of ‘UK Counter Terrorism functions and operations’, part of his remit included ‘Responsibility for National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit, including business engagement’. However, it is noted that during this period he was actually seconded to the Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee within ACPO, which indicates that ACPO was still overseeing the NDEDIU, despite its transfer to the Metropolitan Police.
  • Melvyn Young: Deputy National Co-ordinator Domestic Extremism (NCDE), September 2004 to September 2009. Prior to this he had been with specialist operations & major crime at Thames Valley Police. From October 2009 he was Global Head Extremism and Risk for Novartis and their Deputy Head for Global Security in January 2012, remaining there until June 2013. It is of note that another NDET officer, Jim Sheldrake, also joined Novartis’ Issues and Risk Communications Team in April 2010. This was one month after the NDEU set up a sting, with the complicity of Novartis, that resulted in the jailing of SHAC activist Debbie Vincent, whereby a member of the unit, ‘James Adams’ posed as an executive of Novartis, meeting Ms Vincent in the company of Novartis’ Head of Global Security, Andrew Jackson.
  • Marc Vincent: Deputy Head of NDEU, Oct 2008-Sept 2012; since October 2014 he was Assistant Inspector with HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. From January 2003 to January 2007, he was Head of Special Branch for Lancashire Police, before seconded to NDEU. He subsequently returned to Lancashire Constabulary as Head of Covert Policing and Authorising officer for undercover work. For three months in 2006 he was part of the national review of police forces planning, preparation and readiness to deal with terrorism and domestic extremism. In 2008-2012 he was involved in rolling out the PREVENT programme on a national level, and was the lead officer on piloting the CHANNEL Project for the Home Office.
  • Supt. Steven Pearl: a Cambridgeshire officer involved in the policing of protest around Huntingdon Life Sciences. In March 2004 he established the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit, based in Huntingdon. He remained as its head until forced to retire in 2010. He has since become a director of Agenda Risk Management, which vets applicants for jobs in the animal research industry.
  • According to the Grapevine (magazine of the British Association for Women in Policing), DS Maria Smith was head of NPOIU in 2006.
  • Also: Chief Supt Mitchell (do not have first name) was the line manager for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit in 2001.

N.B. As you can see, the Undercover Research Group portal does not have profiles on all of these supervisors yet. Assistance to populating the wiki would be warmly welcomed!  Get in touch with us!