More Spycops Revealed – More Secrecy Granted

Spraypain stencil of 3 British police in 'brass monkeys' pose

The public inquiry into Britain’s political secret police has announced that it’s considered the applications for anonymity for another nine officers from the Special Demonstration Squad.

Known by ‘HN’ code numbers, the new nine fall into three categories:

  1. real names given (no cover names existed)
  2. real and cover names withheld
  3. cover names given but real names withheld

1 – Real names will be published: HN59, HN268 and HN3378.

These three were not undercover officers, they were back office staff/managers and so did not have cover names.

2 – Inquiry intends to withhold their real and cover names: HN41, HN71 & HN125.

HN41 was deployed into two unspecified groups in the 1970s and 80s. The Inquiry says:

‘there would be a real, but unquantifiable, risk to the personal safety of HN41 if the real or cover name were to be published. It would be neither necessary nor proportionate to run that risk.’

Someone needs to buy the Inquiry a dictionary. If something cannot be quantified then its size cannot be compared in proportion to other things.

Once again, we are not only told nothing, but we are told that we can’t be told why we’re told nothing. We are expected to trust the disgraced specialist liar units of the police to have told the unalloyed truth in their unseen evidence.

HN71 was deployed into two unspecified groups in the 1990s and 2000s. The Inquiry says that if HN71’s real name were known they would be at risk of serious violence from members of the groups. They fear the release of the cover name could lead to the real name being known, so the Inquiry will not risk it.

This misunderstands the function of a cover name; when that person disappears, there is no record left, no trail to follow. We have known about undercover officers like Rod Richardson and Lynn Watson for years, but we have no idea where they are because we only know their cover names.

HN125 infiltrated an unspecified left wing group in the 1980s. He suffers from a progressive medical condition and medical experts say the stress of participating in the Inquiry would make it worse.

3 – Inquiry intends to publish the cover names but grant anonymity for real names: HN12, HN19 & HN353.

These three officers have not asked for their cover names to be withheld.

HN12 was deployed into two unnamed left wing groups 1982-85. He admits he was arrested whilst undercover and had a sexual relationship with a woman he spied on. His deployment ended when his cover was compromised.

HN19 was deployed into two unnamed left wing groups 1981-85. He was arrested while undercover.

HN353 was deployed into two unnamed left wing groups 1974-78 (the groups names will be given at the same time as his cover name). The Inquiry says HN353 does not want media or other intrusion but notes:

‘Publication of his cover name will serve to prompt evidence from those whom he encountered while deployed, if they can remember him and have anything to say about his deployment.’

That, right there, is exactly why all the cover names should be published. We know that these units used inexcusable and unlawful tactics and methods. We know that the officers, like most wrongdoers, do not want to be held to account and will lie about what they did.

These particular miscreants have had expert training and years of practice at lying. If lying were an Olympic sport these people would be Team GB’s best hope for gold. It is not good enough for the Inquiry to take their word. We need those who witnessed their deployments to tell us what they saw. We need the cover names.


Referring to HN19, the Inquiry says:

‘He has no concerns for his physical safety, but is concerned to avoid the intrusion into his and his wife’s private and family life which might result from publication of his real name. His concern is understandable.’

Leaving aside the rich irony of a desire for privacy from people who invaded the lives of others to the greatest possible degree, any kind of testimony or being held to account exposes a person to intrusion. If it doesn’t apply to the innumerable other officers who do it every day, why is it taken so seriously here? Specifically, why does it overrule the need for victims and the public to get answers and justice?

The fact that some officers don’t ask for their cover names to be kept secret undermines the police’s claim that publishing cover names puts officers at unacceptable levels of risk.

Furthermore, the Inquiry is happy to publish the real names of back office staff, which proves that they don’t believe the claim that naming officers from the spycops units means some evil anti-police terrorists will come and attack them on general principle. That being so, the Inquiry’s decision to hide so many real and cover names is based on falsehood. It leans too far towards the police’s desire for total secrecy. It is an unacceptable barrier to truth and justice.

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