10 May 2018

Undercover policing inquiry will not deliver final report before 2023

Senior Home Affairs Correspondent

The public inquiry into undercover policing won’t hand it’s final report to the Home Secretary for another 5 years – in 2023.

The revelation comes in the publication of a strategic review of the inquiry into 40 years of undercover policing which opened in 2015 and but will only begin to hear evidence in public in the summer of next year.

It’s chair Sir Justice Mitting said the inquiry “had reached a crossroads” after 3 years and £10million so far spent on gathering evidence and files on the police infiltration of more than 1000 political and campaigning organisations as well as determining whether former and current officers can have their identities protected.

The review lays out what it describes as ‘an ambitious timeline’ over the coming years and has begun requesting statements from at least 300 witnesses, starting with those who were deployed to spy on numerous groups.

The investigation set up by Theresa May when Home Secretary is looking how undercover officers deceived women into close relationships, took on identities of dead children, reported on family justice campaigns, their potential role in blacklisting workers, and involvement in potential miscarriages of justice.

The inquiry has identified 171 staff of the Special Demonstration Squad and 84 belonging to the National Public Order Intelligence Unit.

The inquiry chair is also to ask the Home Secretary to recruit a panel for the final stage of the inquiry which will make recommendations on the future of covert policing.