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NUJ welcomes Pitchford inquiry into undercover policing

16 July 2015

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has published the terms of reference for a public inquiry into undercover policing, to be led by Lord Justice Pitchford.

The inquiry follows a spate of revelations concerning police officers monitoring trade unions, members of parliament, journalists, the families of those who have died in police custody, and police misconduct campaigners.

The inquiry is to examine the governance and impact of undercover policing operations in England and Wales since 1968.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"We welcome the announcement of the terms of reference for the Pitchford inquiry into the activities of undercover police officers. The NUJ will robustly argue for an inclusive approach that covers the secret monitoring of journalists and trade unionists."

Shamik Dutta, of Bhatt Murphy solicitors, acting for the NUJ and individuals, families and organisations involved in justice campaigns surrounding deaths in custody and police misconduct said:

"We now look to the inquiry to ascertain the extent to which each of our clients was placed under police surveillance and to publish a full report with maximum disclosure detailing its conclusions. Our clients stand ready to assist the inquiry so they can be reassured that undercover officers, and those who were responsible for them at all levels of government, can be held to account."

Access the terms of reference for the Pitchford inquiry.

The Metropolitan Police has previously disclosed to the NUJ that it retains records on the lawful activities of six of its members:

- Police face legal action for snooping on journalists

- NUJ members under police surveillance mount collective legal challenge

Tags: , pitchford inquiry, surveillance, monitoring, trade unions, home office, parliamentary group, legal support, police, undercover