The Pitchford Inquiry

Pitchford Inquiry logo
Our investigations aim to support the preparations for the independent, judge-led inquiry into the undercover scandal, we wrote when we set up this blog in January 2015. Meanwhile the Pitchford Inquiry has begun, and we have decided to take part, and to encourage as many people as possible to do the same.

The Undercover Research Group wants to speak for people spied upon but not (legally) represented yet. We applied for core participancy status but we were amongst those refused in first instance. Some 140 applicants were indeed granted CP status; and many organisations were refused while individual members had been accepted as a person – it is not clear what Pitchford’s decisions are based on. Our case was one of the many presented at the first preliminary hearing in London on 7 October 2015 (official transcripts here). Pitchford’s ruling on the reviews is expected within a week after the hearing. Also, the Judge said that refusal at this stage didn’t rule out getting core participancy later.

Undercover Research blog postings about the Inquiry:

o Qualms about Pitchford’s first ruling – 26 October 2015
o Investigating undercovers: how we work – 23 October 2015
o What to consider before making a submission to the Pitchford Inquiry – 5 October 2015
o Public Inquiry – How to get core participancy – 21 August 2015
o Getting ready for Pitchford – 5 August 2015

The official Undercover Policing Inquiry website includes a list of further preliminary hearings and a FAQs page.

Whatever you think of the likelihood of a state-organised Inquiry exposing whole truth about undercover police operations targeted against campaigners, the Pitchford Inquiry is the best opportunity so far to find out more about the undercover spying operations and political policing over the past 40 years in the UK. If nothing else, it is a way to keep the pressure on and to increase public awareness of the unaccountable, unregulated and unscrupulous activities of Britain’s undercover police spies.

Remember that the only reason undercovers have been exposed was because of activist research, and that the only reason there is an inquiry now is because of the pressure that we have managed to build up together.

Hold Authorities to Account
While there are not a lot of ways to hold the responsible authorities to account, the Undercover Research Group is determined to go any available road – to the end. Apart from the Inquiry, we will use any route that offers opportunities to liberate more of information. Our profiles and analyses presented at the Undercover Research Portal will – hopefully – provide ammunition for further queries and legal steps.

  • Official Inquiries
  • Parliamentary Hearings and Questions
  • Ongoing Cases in Court
  • Convictions Overturned
  • Further Litigation
  • Freedom of Information requests
  • Subject Access Request