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Undercover Policing Inquiry

Undercover Policing Inquiry

Background to the Inquiry

Following the Kennedy revelations in 2013, the media reported allegations in early 2011 of misconduct during undercover operations by a unit within the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) called the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). In October 2011 the MPS launched a review of the SDS under Operation Soisson. Following what was discovered during that review, together with further allegations made in the media, in February 2013 the MPS Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe ordered a wider review and full investigation. This is ongoing, is led by the Chief Constable of Derbyshire, Mr Mick Creedon QPM and in October 2013 the operational name was changed to Operation Herne. The scope of the review under Operation Herne has been expanded to embrace further allegations of misconduct, Chief Constable Creedon has since delivered four reports to the Commissioner:

  • Report 1 - Use of Covert Identities was published in July 2013;
  • Report 2 - Allegations of Peter Francis was published in March 2014;
  • Report 3 - Special Demonstration Squad Reporting: Mentions of Sensitive Campaigns was published in July 2014;
  • Report 4 - Operation Herne Update was delivered in February 2015 and had restricted circulation.

On 6th March 2014, the Home Secretary made a statement in the House of Commons in which she summarised some of the findings made by Mark Ellison QC and Operation Herne. She announced that she would be commissioning an external review into the role of the Home Office in the commissioning and work of the SDS.

In a written statement to the House of Commons on 12 March 2015 the Home Secretary announced a Public Inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005. She stated that the inquiry would “review practices in the use of undercover policing, establishing justice for the families and victims and making recommendations for future operations and police practice”.

Undercover Policing Publication Strategy August 2018

Financial information:

Total cost to NPCC for the inquiry / investigation as of 20-02-2020 £1,188,567.69

Legal Costs £629,335.56

Staff travel and expense claims £102,020

Staffing Levels:

Number of police and staff engaged on the coordination team, details of contracted staff or consultations:

Currently the NPCC Coordination team is made up as follows:

Full time

  • 1 x National Coordinator
  • 1 x Lead Investigator
  • 1 x Deputy Lead Investigator
  • 4 x Investigators
  • 2 x Risk Assessors

Part time

  • 1 x Lead Solicitor
  • 2 x Solicitors


  • 1 x QC
  • 2 x Barristers