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