UK: Undercover Policing Inquiry: evidence must be heard in public


The Undercover Policing Inquiry, which was set up in 2015 to investigate undercover policing operations in England & Wales since 1968, has been mired in controversy from the start. At the beginning of November, hearings finally began - but they remain shielded from public view. Despite the best efforts of campaigners to ensure that the transcripts published are made more accessible, this is no substitute for genuine public hearings, as Donal O'Driscoll demonstrates in a recent article.

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Justice Needs to be Seen to be Done (Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, link):

"Behind the scenes of the Undercover Policing Inquiry, a protracted struggle is taking place to ensure the public inquiry is held, well, in public.

The current set up is prohibitively hard to access, and despite numerous representations, the Inquiry Chair, Sir John Mitting, is effectively ignoring all requests for live streaming of the evidence given by the former undercover officers.

There are many reasons why this is important, public access to the Inquiry in times of Covid not least among them. However, I’d like to draw particular attention to two incidents last week which exemplify just why live streaming of evidence is so crucial."

COPS are providing daily updates on the hearings, and live updates are being provided on Twitter by Tom Fowler.

Find out more about the UK's "spycops" scandal in the Statewatch database

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