For core participants and others – request your police files

Lord Justice Pitchford is clearly very reluctant to release any personal information about those who were spied on beyond the details the Undercover Policing Inquiry feels that it needs to conduct its investigations. This is not the same, of course, as releasing the files that were gathered on individuals so they can understand the extent of the intelligence gathering and surveillance on them. So, let’s help them a bit! Continue reading

The Met Police must suspend domestic extremism unit now

typewriter partPeter Salmon / Undercover Research Group,
8 January 2016

The shocking story of deliberate destruction of police surveillance on Baroness Jenny Jones throws into stark relief what we all feared – the Metropolitan Police are going to obstruct the public inquiry into undercover policing.

Today, the redoubtable Rob Evans of the Guardian broke the story that a whistleblower in the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (the former National Domestic Extremism Unit which employed notorious spycops such as Mark Kennedy) had written to Baroness Jones to reveal the systemic destruction of records relating to her among other allegation of impropriety in the unit. Continue reading

UPDATE: Southampton University and Special Branch

Peter Salmon / Undercover Research Group
6 July 2015

In April we wrote about how Hampshire Special Branch had put pressure on Southampton University to cancel an academic conference on Israel. We highlighted this as it was evidence of ongoing political policing and blacklisting through the back-door – in particular through the Government’s PREVENT counter-terrorism strategy. PREVENT, as we have demonstrated elsewhere, is merely Special Branch in another guise.

So it is was of interest that in the same week the latest bout of counter-terrorism legislations commences, requiring educational establishments take up political policing against radicals and ‘extremism’, Hampshire Police also responded to our FOIA about the Southampton University – Special Branch meetings.

It seems we were right in our assertion that one of those meeting with the head of security for Southampton University was no less than the head of Hampshire Special Branch, Scott Chilton. Chilton is Head of the Joint Operational Unit between Hampshire Police and Thames Valley Police forces, where he has command of Special Branch and Covert Policing, and someone we suspect of having involvement in other covert police actions against animal rights activists in this time. 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

Blacklisting, the Catt case and ongoing collusion in corporate and police spying

Peter Salmon / Undercover Research Group
21 March 2015

blacklisted pic
Blacklisting can be a life-destroying tactic. Names of trade union and political activists are added to a secretive list which is then used to ensure those named have difficulty ever working again. Though such activities are illegal, blacklisting is still alive and not just confined to corporations. Continue reading

Blog: Political Secret Police Units

Reposted from Bristling Badger, 5 February 2015.

Don’t let the police self-investigations like Operation Herne fool you with their focus on the disbanded Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) – this is not a historic problem. The political secret police are still with us.

The shift from different units leaves us whirling in acronyms. Here, as far as I’m able to tell, is what’s what (corrections welcome!). It’s an alphabet soup of acronyms that swirl before the eyes, so thanks to Jane Lawson for designing a diagram to make it easier to grasp (click to enlarge; right click and open in new tab to have it alongside as you read the post).
Also see the UndercoverResearch page on the Political Secret Police Units

SDS Diagram Small
Continue reading

Profiles on the National Domestic Extremism Unit added

The National Domestic Extremism Unit refers to specialist police organisation that began life as the National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism (NCDE) and was subsequently renamed the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) and more recently the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU). For much of its history it was controlled by the Association of Chief Police Officers Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee, before being transferred to the the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command in the wake of the Mark Kennedy undercover scandal.

During its time under the control of ACPO, the NDEU consisted of a group of police units, several of which have gained national attention for their role in the policing of protests and deployment of undercover police into political and activist movements. These units were the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU), National Domestic Extremism Team (NDET). Many began as separate units, or created out of the merger of smaller units around the UK. It was a sub-unit of the NPOIU, the Confidential Intelligence Unit, which ran a number of infiltrators that targeted protest movements. Continue reading

Profile Domestic Extremism added

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. Continue reading