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Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) remains committed to assisting the Undercover Policing Inquiry, which started on Monday, 2 November.

The MPS is one of the core participants in the Inquiry, which will closely examine the work of two former MPS undercover units – the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). The latter was governed by the MPS for part of its tenure. The starting point for the Inquiry is 1968.

Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball, from Professionalism, said: “Undercover policing plays a vital role in the fight against serious crime and terrorism. Sometimes it is absolutely the only way to keep people safe. The officers who take part in covert operations put themselves at great risk to prevent and detect crime, and save lives.

“Undercover policing has evolved considerably and is very different to what it was 50 years ago. Today it is a practice underpinned by strong governance and oversight, and with clear ethical guidelines and a legislative framework. 

“This Inquiry will look at a number of issues around the conduct of undercover policing. We will answer the important questions about these issues, face up to mistakes that have been made and be held accountable.

“Since the Undercover Policing Inquiry was first announced in 2015, the Met has been fully committed to helping the Inquiry as much as possible. Our small team within the Inquiry and Review Support Command has supplied tens of thousands of relevant documents to the Inquiry and responded to a large number of requests for information. We will continue to be open and transparent, and be on hand to assist and supply information as and when the Inquiry needs it.

“We recognise that there remains public concern about certain aspects of undercover policing. This public inquiry is the proper forum to scrutinise all of these aspects, and the Met will continue to work with the Inquiry to carry out this important work.”

+ A transcript of the MPS’ opening statement, delivered to the Inquiry orally on Tuesday, 3 November, can be found here.

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