A guide to the do’s and don’t’s of investigating if a comrade was an undercover police officer is released today,
In this 24 page booklet, we have brought together all the lessons we have learned to help you do your own investigation.
It covers how to start investigating and the sorts of questions that need answering. Equally importantly, we discuss how to support each other or deal with situations which are inconclusive. It takes you through the process step by step, so even if you have already started your own investigation there is help with what to do once you have come to a conclusion.
Supporting each other
Donal O’Driscoll and Eveline Lubbers,
Undercover Research Group
4 February 2016
Today we release a profile of an animal rights activist based in Bedford 2002-2006, whom former colleagues (including a member of URG) now believe was a undercover police officer.
However, the final, definitive bit of documentation that would 100% confirm this person as a police officer is missing. For that reason we refer to him solely as RC, and no pictures of him are included.
This is less than ideal and the responsibility for it lies squarely with the police, who continue to frustrate attempts to uncover injustices in the spycop saga. In response to our request for confirmation, the police ‘intend to maintain the principle of neither confirming nor denying the issues raised‘. However, remaining silent is not an option: firstly, there are potential miscarriages of justice associated with RC being a police officer and secondly, those affected will be hampered from being core participants in the Pitchford Inquiry.
If we are wrong, we will publicly apologise, but we believe we have sufficient evidence to take this step.
In this blog post we explain how we came to the decision to publish an anonymised version of the profile, explaining the way we worked on this case and summarising the evidence at the end against our List of Fifteen Questions.
Please read this first before going to the profile on RC
Resolving a dilemma Continue reading
Donal O’Driscoll and Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group
18 January 2016
Today we can reveal that Carlo Neri, who was active in the Socialist Party between 2001 and 2006, was in reality an undercover police officer in London, mostly likely deployed by the Special Demonstration Squad.
We have been working on this case since last summer, after people who knew him came to us with their suspicions. Following a long and sometimes winding investigation we were able to identify his real name, and to locate documentation that had his occupation down as police officer at the time he was undercover.
The story goes live today on Newsnight and in The Guardian. The Undercover Research Group presents an in-depth profile detailing Neri, his tour of duty, his relationships and the activities he was involved in.
This expose could not have been done without the efforts of Carlo’s former friends and partners. We salute their efforts in bringing this grim truth to the public scrutiny it deserves. Carlo systematically used people and betrayed trust; he deliberately sought out relationships as part of his cover. We hope in exposing him that some resolution can be found.
This blog post has – for the first time – a detailed account of our investigation. Yet again, the people affected by undercovers in their lives had to go through the painful process of uncovering the truth. Something that could have been avoided if the Pitchford Inquiry would release the list of cover names of undercovers from the Special Demonstration Squad.
Go to the Carlo Neri profile
Peter Salmon and Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group,
2 November 2015
As we noted in a recent blogpost on how we work, we have a list of questions that we have developed from close study of the undercovers exposed so far. If someone comes to us with a suspicion about someone in their group, we put these questions to them, to see whether their suspicions are well founded. If many boxes are ticked, there are strong grounds for further investigation.
Here we set out the questions we work with, putting them context (thanks for people taking part in our meeting at the London Anarchist Bookfair for their input!). Some questions are specifically related to the undercover tradecraft. Others are things about what infiltrating officers get wrong, or what we’ve picked up from our own analyses.
- Is their background missing?
Generally, the undercover has very little in the way of background story. They will often have a Continue reading
‘Lynn Watson’ was the assumed identity of an undercover police officer who infiltrated activist groups, mainly in the northern English city of Leeds, between the years of 2002 and 2008. She was tasked by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) as ‘one of the first in a team of 15 spies who would be sent undercover in one six-year period’, according to Guardian journalists Rob Evans and Paul Lewis, who devote part of their book, Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police to her. Subsequent to her deployment within peace, environmental and anti-authoritarian political movements, Lynn was placed undercover elsewhere, targeting serious organised crime networks.
Lynn’s role as a long-term police spy in protest movements was publicly confirmed in January 2011 in the wake of the unmasking of Mark Kennedy. Her current whereabouts, status and true identity are all unknown.
Read the entire Lynn Watson profile, have a look at the Watson timeline or the gallery with Watson photos.
Peter Salmon and Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group
23 October 2015
At the recent hearing of the Pitchford Inquiry into Undercover Policing, the Judge asked the Undercover Research Group whether it ‘was its purpose to out undercover policemen.'(1) It is a good question and the answer is more nuanced than a simple yes or no. In this post we aim to give you some insight into how we work and how we make our judgements.
To be clear, we do not have a list of unconfirmed undercovers through which we are steadily working in preparation to systematic exposure. What we have is a bunch of fears and concerns from individuals and groups, who we think have valid questions. Continue reading
The Undercover Research Project aims to create an one-stop resource on political policing and undercover surveillance. This blog discusses the undermining of protest and dissent, to support others holding those responsible to account.
The actual profiles can be found at the Undercover Research Portal.