Review of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU)
HMIC reviewed the use of undercover officers by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), which is now part of the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU). The NPOIU was funded by the Home Office to gather and coordinate intelligence in order to:
- reduce criminality and disorder from domestic extremism; and
- support forces across England and Wales managing strategic public order issues.
HMIC found that as well as being more risky, NPOIU operations were not as well controlled as those of other units which deploy undercover officers on serious criminality. This was especially so in the case of Mark Kennedy, where the evidence suggests the risks of intrusion into the lives of members of the public while undercover were not well managed; on occasions, he did not follow the codes of practice for undercover officers, or the instructions of his supervisors; and NPOIU/NDEU did not identify the problems as quickly as they should have.
The report therefore makes recommendations to improve the control of undercover officers deployed to tackle criminality associated with public order and domestic extremism.
We have published details of the External Reference Group, whose role was to challenge the review’s terms of reference, the final report and the conclusions reached, and reassure the public of the comprehensive nature of the review.