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02 November 2020

The Undercover Policing Inquiry will start its hearings, more than five years after it was set up

3 mins

The Undercover Policing Inquiry opens today. It was set up in 2015 after revelations of numerous abhorrent practices within two undercover policing units, the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the National Public Order Demonstration Unit (NPODU).  The Inquiry was set to establish the truth about undercover policing in England and Wales from 1968 until today, and to provide recommendations for the future. 

Our clients have waited more than five years for this Inquiry to commence. During this time the Inquiry has granted anonymity to most of the undercover police officers being called to give evidence, in some cases to their cover names as well as their real names. 

Our clients are the victims of undercover policing. They all have numerous questions as to how and why they were targeted or impacted, which the police have so far failed to answer. With the Inquiry opening this week, our clients hope that they will finally start to get some answers.  

The Inquiry opens with seven days of Opening Statements, first from Inquiry and then from all of the Core Participants. Following this the Inquiry will hear eight days of evidence covering the first ‘Phase’, which relates to the practices of the SDS from 1968–1973. 

Bindmans represents a number of Core Participants at the Inquiry, all of whom are victims of undercover policing. They fall into the following three ‘Categories’ of CP:

  • Category F – The relatives of deceased children whose identities were used by undercover police officers;
  • Category H – Individuals duped into relationships with undercover officers;
  • Category K – Political activists spied upon by undercover officers 

What our clients say:

Honor Robson from Category F says:

I hope the whole truth is exposed and that the police learn from their massive mistakes so what happened to us never happens again.

Tom Fowler from Category H says:

Those of us who have been following the Undercover Policing Inquiry go into the start of proceedings today with very little faith in the process. The huge concessions to police anonymity that that has been partly responsible for the delays that have taken 5 years for the Inquiry to get started gave made sure of that. We will however be watching proceedings closely in the hope that some droplets of truth will sneak out. Myself and others will be providing live updates over the duration of the hearings, using the #spycops hashtag on Twitter.

Jules Carey, Tamsin Allen and Joseph Morgan are instructed on this Inquiry. 

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