Analysis

Even thought the profiles of people and police units involved will be revealing themselves, the Undercover Research Group aims to add some in-depth analyses as well. To prevent you from getting lost in many names and acronyms, the Undercover Research portal will include sections trying to answer important questions and offer visualisations of our findings:

  • Who were targeted?
  • Who knew what?
  • Background
  • Timelines
  • Infographics

Pages on issues currently under construction:

Smearing of the Stephen Lawrence Campaign
Use of Identities of Children
Sexual Relations
Consultancy Association & Blacklisting
Far Right

The first item in the background section is a page examining the term domestic extremism – used without (legal) definition to spy on activists, black justice campaigns and what have you.

Domestic Extremism is a police term which seeks to categorise a particular kind of political activity. The term is often used to distinguish so-called single issue campaigns or political groups with a militant edge from terrorist groups. Animal rights, ecological defence, anti-arms trade, the radical left and the far right have been labelled domestic extremists, as have individual actors such as the letter-bomber Miles Cooper.

The Government has no formal legal definition for Domestic Extremism (while it has one for terrorism for instance). The use of the label has come under criticism for mission creep, for political policing and for using it as a way to treat protest as a form of crime: a number of people who had no criminal record were nevertheless added to the National Domestic Extremism Database. However, in 2014 a revised working definition was provided by the Metropolitan Police as:

Domestic Extremism relates to the activity of groups or individuals who commit or plan serious criminal activity motivated by a political or ideological viewpoint.

It is a term mostly used by British police, in particular by the secret units that were running undercover officers like Mark Kennedy, following up Special Branch’s Special Demonstration Squad. The history of relevant police units with ever-changing acronyms residing under the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) can be found at the page of the National Domestic Extremism Unit.

This is just a preview, without references.
Continue to the full profile of Domestic Extremism