Acpo Manual Of Standards For The Deployment Of Undercover Officers

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41 2.25 The National Code of Conduct for Undercover Officers is contained in the Manual of Standards devised by the Association of Chief Police Officers.22 It sets out 17 statements covering the professional and personal standards expected of an undercover officer. The Unit was based inside the Met until around 2006, at which point it transferred to the Association of Chief Police Officers. However, the Unit’s deployment of undercover officers to. As directed by the Association of Chief Police Officers). ACPO Manual of Standards for the Deployment of Undercover Officers. 2.5.1 The National Centre for Policing Excellence,or any successor body designated by the Secretary of State, has responsibility on behalf of the police forces of England. Authorised Firearms Officers on the issue, deployment and use of the Police Contact) and ACPO Manual of Guidance on the Management, Command. To ensure strict observance of set operational firearms procedures, as dictated locally in relation to BTP and nationally in relation to the manual of guidance for ease of use, suitability for purpose.

Around the end of 2010 and during 2011, it was disclosed in UK media that a number of undercoverpolice officers had, as part of their 'false persona', entered into intimate relationships with members of targeted groups and in some cases proposed marriage or fathered children with protesters who were unaware their partner was a police officer in a role as part of their official duties.[1] Various legal actions followed, including eight women who took action against the Metropolitan Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), stating they were deceived into long-term intimate relationships by five officers, including Mark Kennedy, the first officer to be identified as such, who was publicly identified on 21 October 2010[2][3] as infiltrating social and environmental justice campaigns,[4][5] and Mark Kennedy himself who claimed in turn that he had been incompetently handled by his superiors and denied psychological counselling.[1] According to The Guardian,[6] Kennedy sued the police for ruining his life and failing to 'protect' him from falling in love with one of the environmental activists whose movement he infiltrated.

Although the units had been previously disbanded, other cases continued to emerge. In 2015 a public inquiry under a senior judge was announced. In November 2015 the Metropolitan Police published an unreserved apology in which it exonerated and apologised to those women who had been deceived and stated the methodology had constituted abuse and a 'gross violation' with severely harmful effects, as part of a settlement of their cases. In 2016 new cases continued to come to light.

  • 3Impact, Inquiry and aftermath of disclosures


Mark Kennedy (also known as Mark Stone and Flash) is a former London Metropolitan Police officer who, whilst attached to the police service's National Public Order Intelligence Unit,[7] (NPOIU) infiltrated many protest groups between 2003 and 2010 before he was unmasked by political activists as an undercoverpoliceman on 21 October 2010.[8][2][3] In January 2011, it was reported that Kennedy worked for several years as an undercover infiltrator for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit with seven years work in the environmental protest movement.[9]

During this time he had entered into intimate relationships on false grounds, which came to light during 2010 as being part of a systemic pattern of exploitation and manipulation[10] of women in such movements. It also emerged that some of these undercover police relationships had resulted in children whose fathers later 'vanished' when their role was completed.

Other related undercover controversies[edit]

It later emerged that Kennedy had previously undertaken criminal acts as part of his role for other countries, including Denmark where he stated that, in the guise of an environmental activist, he was used by the police forces of 22 countries and was responsible for the closing down of the Youth House community centre in Copenhagen,[11] and in Germany, for German police, including arson.[11] German MP Andrej Hunko raised questions in the German Bundestag concerning what the German authorities knew about Kennedy's activities amongst the Berlin protest movement. Kennedy had been arrested in Berlin for attempted arson, but was never brought to trial. Hunko also asked: 'How does the federal government justify the fact that [Mark Kennedy], as part of his operation in Germany, did not only initiate long-term meaningful friendships but also sexual relationships, clearly under false pretenses?' The German government refused to answer all questions relating to Kennedy.[12]

The use of undercover officers also caused the collapse of trials and led to the revelation of unlawful withholding of evidence by the Crown Prosecution Service. Six activists accused of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass at Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station collapsed following the revelation of undercover police involvement,[13] in which the police were described as having been not just observers, but agent provocateurs: 'We're not talking about someone sitting at the back of the meeting taking notes - he was in the thick of it.'[14]

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) barrister Felicity Gerry was forced to withdraw the case against the activists after Kennedy confessed to the set-up,[15] evidence of which the CPS had withheld from the defence. The CPS also withheld the fact that Kennedy was giving testimony under the false name Mark Stone using a false passport supplied by the police. Secret tapes 'that could have exonerated six activists, known as the 'deniers' because they claimed not to have agreed to join the protest' and 'evidence gathered by the Guardian now suggests it was the Crown Prosecution Service rather than the police that withheld the tapes.'[15] CPS lawyer Ian Cunningham faced dismissal after a report by Sir Christopher Rose criticised Cunningham for failing to ask questions about Kennedy’s involvement in the Ratcliffe plot.[16]

Impact, Inquiry and aftermath of disclosures[edit]

As of 2016 the legal cases continue. In November 2015 the Metropolitan Police force apologised to seven women 'tricked into relationships' over a period of 25 years by officers in the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU).[17] The officers involved had eventually 'vanished', leaving questions and deceit behind, described by victims as 'psychological torture'.[18] Financial settlements estimated at £3 million for the seven claimants were also made as part of the settlement.[19]

The disclosures also led to the closing of the units concerned, and a public inquiry, the Undercover Policing Inquiry, concerning the conduct of police in undercover operations. The inquiry is headed by senior judge Lord Justice Pitchford, a Lord Justice of Appeal and member of the Privy Council.[18] One group representing victims of such practices is the Undercover Research Group, whose website provides alternate coverage and comments on the inquiry.[20]

As of April 2018 the inquiry has confirmed that undercover police had infiltrated the following groups and movements:

Anarchist groups, Animal Liberation Front, Anti-Apartheid Movement, Anti-Fascist Action, Big Flame, Black Power movement, Brixton Hunt Saboteurs, Colin Roach Centre, Dambusters Mobilising Committee, Dissent!, Earth First!, Essex Hunt Saboteurs, Friends of Freedom Press Ltd, Globalise Resistance, Independent Labour Party, Independent Working Class Association, International Marxist Group, International Socialists, Irish National Liberation Solidarity Front, London Animal Action, London Animal Rights Coalition, London Boots Action Group, London Greenpeace, Militant, No Platform, Antifa, Operation Omega, Reclaim the Streets, Red Action, Republican Forum, Revolutionary Socialist Students Federation, Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, South London Animal Movement (SLAM), Tri-Continental, Troops Out Movement, Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, West London Hunt Saboteurs, Workers Revolutionary Party, Young Haganah, Young Liberals, Youth against Racism in Europe.[21]

Former policeman Andy Coles was elected in 2015 as a Conservative councillor on Peterborough City Council and appointed a deputy to the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016. After a mention in his younger brother Richard Coles' autobiography,[22] he was accused of having deceived a 19-year-old political activist into a sexual relationship while he was a 32-year-old undercover police officer in the 1990s.[23] In February 1995 the then Detective Sergeant Coles wrote the 'Tradecraft manual for undercover police'[24][25]. He resigned as deputy commissioner on 15 May 2017[26] but remains a councillor and school governor.

Eventually at least 12 women received compensation from the police in the High Court of Justice, though the police avoided making internal documents about the relationships public.[27]

Investigatory Powers Tribunal trial[edit]

Kate Wilson, one of the women who had sued the police in the high court over the relationship with undercover officer Mark Kennedy, started a case in 2018 at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, alleging the police had infringed her human rights in five ways. In court documents, the police admitted that Kennedy’s line manager and other officers were aware of the sexual relationship, stating 'sexual relationship with [Wilson] was carried out with the acquiescence of his cover officers and line manager'. Previously the police had suggested such relationships were not officially sanctioned.[27][28]

Scope for criminal charges[edit]

Rape in English law is defined as 'unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman who (a) at the time of the intercourse does not consent to it, and (b) at that time he knows that she does not consent to the intercourse or he is reckless as to whether she consents to it.' The basis of a prosecution therefore revolves around whether or not consent is given in law, or its absence was ignored.

The CPS statement clarified that misrepresenting identity, and obtaining sexual consent due to a false identity, was not generally a crime in UK law, other than in specific situations such as impersonating a person's partner, or deceit as to gender. Other than in specific limited situations set out in statute, the general rule in UK law is that deceit only creates a case of rape (known as 'rape by deception' or 'rape by fraud') if 'the act consented to was not the act undertaken'. Crown Prosecutors declined to bring charges against any police officers or their supervisors, including charges for rape and other sexual crimes (covering sex under false pretences, unconsented sexual acts, and other potential offences), on the basis that rape charges would be unlikely to succeed. For similar reasons, indecent assault, procurement for sexual intercourse by false pretences, and misconduct in office were also felt to lack sufficient basis for a conviction.[29] A leading case on 'rape by fraud' is R v Linekar,[30] in which the Court of Appeal had previously held that very narrow restrictions should apply to such cases of deceit in the context of rape prosecutions. (The reasoning being that otherwise rape could be alleged following any minor broken promise or any misrepresentation with sexual activity, and would risk no longer being a uniformly serious offence.) [31]

Police response[edit]

In November 2015, the Metropolitan Police Service issue the following statement:


Thanks in large part to the courage and tenacity of these women in bringing these matters to light it has become apparent that some officers, acting undercover whilst seeking to infiltrate protest groups, entered into long-term intimate sexual relationships with women which were abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong....Firstly, none of the women with whom the undercover officers had a relationship brought it on themselves. They were deceived pure and simple. I want to make it clear that the Metropolitan Police does not suggest that any of these women could be in any way criticized for the way in which these relationships developed.

Second, at the mediation process the women spoke of the way in which their privacy had been violated by these relationships. I entirely agree that it was a gross violation and also accept that it may well have reflected attitudes towards women that should have no part in the culture of the Metropolitan Police.

Third, it is apparent that some officers may have preyed on the women’s good nature and had manipulated their emotions to a gratuitous extent. This was distressing to hear about and must have been very hard to bear.

Fourth, I recognise that these relationships, the subsequent trauma and the secrecy around them left these women at risk of further abuse and deception by these officers after the deployment had ended.

Fifth, I recognize that these legal proceedings have been painful distressing and intrusive and added to the damage and distress. Let me make clear that whether or not genuine feelings were involved on the part of any officers is entirely irrelevant and does not make the conduct acceptable.


In light of this settlement, it is hoped that the Claimants will now feel able to move on with their lives. The Metropolitan Police believes that they can now do so with their heads held high. The women have conducted themselves throughout this process with integrity and absolute dignity.

— Statement by Metropolitan Police Service, 20 November 2015, [10]

Victims' ongoing concerns[edit]

In January 2016, further cases continued to come to light. A complainant stated that they sought disclosure of the cover names of officers who were engaged undercover in this way, and their supervising officers, so that those who had been deceived into relationships, and potentially suffered thereby, would be able to discover the fact.[18]

Changes to UK undercover policing practices[edit]

At present, the inquiry is in process and the final report not yet created; the sole known impact on police practice is the above statement combined with the alleged disbanding of the units involved.[when?]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, Rob Evans, Paul Lewis (Guardian Books, Faber & Faber, 2012) ISBN9780852652688
  • What Spycops Did Next, article by Merrick Badger (Real Media, January 2017)

External links[edit]

  • Official website of the Undercover Policing Inquiry. Includes the heavily redacted 'Tradecraft manual for undercover police' written by Andy Coles[32].


  1. ^ abGraham, Caroline (17 January 2011). ''I'm the victim of smears': Undercover policeman denies bedding a string of women during his eight years with eco-warriors'. Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  2. ^ ab'Mark 'Stone/Kennedy' exposed as undercover police officer - UK Indymedia'. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  3. ^ ab'Mark Kennedy/Stone exposed as undercover cop - UK Indymedia'. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  4. ^Peachey, Paul (1 March 2013). 'Deceived lovers speak of mental 'torture' from undercover detectives'. The Independent. London. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  5. ^Lewis, Paul; Evans, Rob (16 December 2011). 'Former lovers of undercover officers sue police over deceit'. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  6. ^Hill, Armelia (25 November 2012). 'Spy Mark Kennedy sues Police'. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  7. ^Collins, Nick (10 January 2011). 'What is the National Public Order Intelligence Unit?'. The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  8. ^Evans, Rob; Lewis, Paul (10 January 2011). 'Undercover officer spied on green activists'. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  9. ^Evans, Rob; Lewis, Paul (10 January 2010). 'Undercover officer who spied on green activists quits Met'. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  10. ^ ab'Claimants in civil cases receive MPS apology'. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  11. ^ abEvans, Rob; Lewis, Paul (13 November 2011). 'Undercover policeman admits spying on Danish activists'. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  12. ^Pidd, Helen; Lewis, Paul (11 January 2011). 'MP in Germany says Mark Kennedy 'trespassed' in Berlin activists' lives'. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  13. ^Lewis, Paul; Evans, Rob; Wainwright, Martin (10 January 2011). 'Mark Kennedy knew of second undercover eco-activist'. The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  14. ^Jones, Meirion (10 January 2011). 'Trial collapses after undercover officer switches sides'. BBC News.
  15. ^ abLewis, Paul; Evans, Rob (7 June 2011). 'Police spying: secret tapes that put CPS on the spot'. The Guardian. London.
  16. ^Hughes, Mark (6 December 2011). 'Deceived lovers speak of mental 'torture' from undercover detectives'. The Independent. London. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  17. ^Casciani, Dominic (20 November 2015). 'Met Police apology for women tricked into relationships'. BBC News. Retrieved 26 January 2017 – via
  18. ^ abcEvans, Rob (18 January 2016). 'Woman who was engaged to police spy sues Met over 'psychological torture''. The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2017 – via The Guardian.
  19. ^Morgan, Tom (2015-11-20). 'Scotland Yard's multi-million pound apology to seven women deceived into relationships with officers'. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  20. ^'The Pitchford Inquiry ~ Undercover Research Group'. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  21. ^'Cover names - Undercover Policing Inquiry'. Undercover Policing Inquiry. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  22. ^Evans, Rob (15 May 2017). 'Cambridgeshire deputy police commissioner resigns over spy claims'. The Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  23. ^Evans, Rob (12 May 2017). 'Cambridgeshire deputy police commissioner facing calls to resign over spy allegations'. The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^'Statement from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner'. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  27. ^ abEvans, Rob (21 September 2018). 'Met bosses knew of relationship deception by spy Mark Kennedy'. The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  28. ^Kelly, June (21 September 2018). 'Police 'aware' undercover officer was in relationship'. BBC News. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  29. ^'Charging decision concerning MPS Special Demonstration Squad'. Archived from the original on 17 October 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  30. ^R v Linekar [1995] 3 All ER 69 73
  31. ^ - legal analysis of when deceit can cause a case to be chargeable as rape, in English law
  32. ^
Retrieved from ''
(Redirected from ACPO)
Association of Chief Police Officers
Agency overview
Formed1948,[1]not-for-profit limited company incorporation 1997
Dissolved2015, to be replaced by the National Police Chiefs' Council
Headquarters10 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0NN

Agency executive
Website (archived link from March 2015)

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), officially The Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, was a not-for-profit private limited company that for many years led the development of policing practices in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.[2] Established in 1948,[1] ACPO provided a forum for chief police officers to share ideas and coordinate their strategic operational responses, and advised government in matters such as terrorist attacks and civil emergencies. ACPO coordinated national police operations, major investigations, cross-border policing, and joint law enforcement. ACPO designated Senior Investigative Officers for major investigations and appointed officers to head ACPO units specialising in various areas of policing and crime reduction.

ACPO was led by Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde, QPM, who was, until 2009, the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. He was elected as president by fellow members of ACPO in April 2009.[3]

ACPO was funded by Home Office grants, profits from commercial activities and contributions from the 44 police authorities in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.[2]

Following the Parker Review into ACPO, it was replaced in 2015 by a new body, the National Police Chiefs' Council, set up under a police collaboration agreement under Section 22A of the Police Act 1996.

  • 4ACPO bodies
  • 5Controversies


UK policing sprang from local communities in the 1800s. Since the origins of policing, chief officers have regularly associated to discuss and share policing issues. Although ACPO as now recognised was formed in 1948, records of prior bodies go back to the early 1900s. The UK retains a decentralised model of policing based around the settlement which emerged from the Royal Commission on the work of the Police in 1962.

ACPO continued to provide a forum for chief officers across 44 local police forces and 13 national areas across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and provided local forces with agreed national policies and guidelines.[4]

ACPO failed to convince its sponsors to contribute to its survival and in May 2011 the BBC reported that ACPO would run out of money in February 2012 without extra funding. ACPO was half-funded by the Home Office and half by 44 police authorities. A third of police authorities refused to pay in 2010 and another third were undecided. The Association of Police Authorities said the withdrawal of funding by police authorities was 'partly due to a squeeze on their income'.[5] ACPO was due to wind up formally in April 2015.

Constitutional status[edit]

Over time, demands for coordination across the police service increased as society changed,[6] for example to take account of new developments in international terrorism and organised crime, or roles such as monitoring offenders on release from prison or working with young people to divert them from crime.

In 1997 ACPO was incorporated as a private company limited by guarantee. As a private company, ACPO was not subject to freedom of information legislation. It was not a staff association; the staff association for senior police officers was a separate body, the Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA).

The change in structure from a 'band of volunteers' to a limited company allowed the organisation to employ staff, enter into contracts for accommodation and publish accounts.


A number of options were considered for the status of ACPO, including charitable status, but all were discounted.[7]

Chief Constables and Commissioners are responsible for the direction and control of policing in their force areas. Although a national body and recognized by the government for consultation, ACPO had no powers of its own, nor any mandate to instruct chief officers. However, the organisation allowed chief officers to form a national policy rather than replicate the work in each of their forces. For example, after the 1980–81 riots in 27 British cities including in St. Pauls and Brixton ACPO began to prepare the Public Order Manual of Tactical Operations and Related Matters. Police forces began training in its tactics late in 1983.[8]


ACPO was not a staff association. It acted for the police service, not its members. The separate Chief Police Officers Staff Association acts for chief officers.

ACPO was composed of the chief police officers of the 44 police forces in England & Wales and Northern Ireland, the Deputy Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable of 42 of those forces and the Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Assistant Commissioner and Commanders of the remaining two - the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police. Certain senior non-police staff and senior members of national police agencies and certain other specialised and non-geographical forces in the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands were also members.

As of March 2010 there were 349 members of ACPO.[9] The membership elected a full-time President, who held the office of Chief Constable under the Police Reform Act 2002.[10]

ACPO bodies[edit]

ACPO was responsible for several ancillary bodies, which it either funded or which received Home Office funding but which reported to ACPO:

ACPO Criminal Records Office[edit]

The ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO) was set up in 2006 in response to a perceived gap in the police service's ability to manage criminal records and in particular to improve links to biometric data. The initial aim of ACRO was to provide operational support relating to criminal records and associated biometric data, including DNA and fingerprint recognition.

It also issues police certificates, for a fee, needed to obtain immigration visas for countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cayman Islands, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.[11]

The organization continues under the style 'ACRO Criminal Records Office' under the control of Hampshire Constabulary.[12]

ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service[edit]

The Association of Chief Police Officers Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS), later the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NAVCIS), was managed by ACPO, and was responsible for combating organised vehicle crime and the use of vehicles in crime.[13]

National Community Tension Team[edit]

The National Community Tension Team (NCTT) was an ACPO body which monitored religious, racial, or other tensions within communities, and provided liaison between police forces and community organisations.[14]

National Counter Terrorism Security Office[edit]

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office was funded by, and reported to, ACPO and advised the British government on its counter terrorism strategy.[15]


Police National Information and Co-ordination Centre[edit]

ACPO was responsible for coordinating the national mobilisation of police resources at times of national need through the Police National Information and Co-ordination Centre (PNICC), which it set up in 2003.[16] This included ensuring policing resilience during major events such as emergency response to serious flooding or the investigation of a terrorist attack. PNICC sat alongside the government in COBR (Cabinet Office Briefing Room) to advise on national issues. PNICC also handled support to overseas crises involving UK nationals.

It employed three full-time staff, with other staff seconded to it as needed and is funded by contributions from each of the police forces.[16]

Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit[edit]

The Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) was set up in 2010 by ACPO (and run by the Metropolitan Police) to remove unlawful terrorist material content from the Internet with a focus on UK based material.

The December 2013 report of the Prime Minister's Extremism task force[17] said that it would 'work with internet companies to restrict access to terrorist material online which is hosted overseas but illegal under UK law' and 'work with the internet industry to help them in their continuing efforts to identify extremist content to include in family-friendly filters' which would likely involve lobbying ISPs to add the CTIRU list to their filters without the need for additional legislation.

National Wildlife Crime Unit[edit]

The National Wildlife Crime Unit is a national police unit that gathers intelligence on wildlife crime and provides analytical and investigative support to law enforcement agencies.


Freedom of information[edit]

ACPO had been criticised as being unaccountable to Parliament or the public by virtue of its limited company status.[18] In October 2009 Sir Hugh Orde stated that ACPO would be 'more than happy' to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.[19] On 30 March 2010, the Ministry of Justice announced that ACPO would be included under the FOI Act from October 2011.[20] In its response, the organisation stated that 'Although organisations cannot voluntarily comply with the Act, a large proportion of ACPO's work is public already or available under FOI through any police force'.[21] In January 2011 its website still said it: 'is unable to do is to respond to requests for information under the Act. The organisation is too small and there are too few members of staff to be able to conduct the necessary research and to compile the responses'.[22] From November 2011, however, FOI requests could be made to ACPO.[23]

Confidential Intelligence Unit[edit]

In February 2009, the Mail on Sunday highlighted the involvement of ACPO in setting up the 'Confidential Intelligence Unit' as a specialised unit to monitor left-wing and right-wing political groups throughout the UK.[24]

Commercial activities[edit]

The February 2009 Mail on Sunday investigation also highlighted other activities of the ACPO including selling information from the Police National Computer for £70 despite it costing them only 60p to access it, marketing 'police approval' logos to firms selling anti-theft devices and operating a separate private firm offering training to speed camera operators.[25]


The organisation was criticised in February 2010 for allegedly spending £1.6 million per year from government anti-terrorist funding grants on renting up to 80 apartments in the centre of London which were reported as being empty most of the time.[26][27] The organisation responded that it had reviewed this policy and would reduce the number of apartments.[27]

Undercover activities[edit]

Acpo Manual Of Standards For The Deployment Of Undercover Officers 2017

As a result of The Guardian articles with regards to the activities and accusations of PC Mark Kennedy of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit within the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit, and the collapse of the subsequent trial of six activists, a number of initiatives and changes were announced:[28][29]

  • Acknowledging that 'something had gone very wrong' in the Kennedy case to the Home Affairs Select Committee,[30] Home Office minister Nick Herbert stated that ACPO would lose control of three teams involved in tackling domestic extremism. Herbert announced that the units would be transferred to the Metropolitan Police, with acting commissioner Tim Godwin confirming that this would occur at the earliest possible timescale.[28]
  • Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary announced that Bernard Hogan-Howe would lead an investigation into ACPO, to assess whether undercover operations had been 'authorised in accordance with law' and 'proportionate'.[28]
  • The Association of Police Authorities said it was ending its annual £850,000 grant to ACPO.[29]

DNA database[edit]

ACPO has supervised the creation of one of the world's largest per-capita DNA databases, containing the DNA profiles of more than one million innocent people. ACPO's guidelines that these profiles should only be deleted in 'exceptional circumstances' were found to be unlawful by the UK Supreme Court in May 2011.[31] They were found to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, following the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in S and Marper v United Kingdom. On 1 May 2012, the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 completed its passage through Parliament and received Royal Assent. To date, ACPO has not reissued revised guidelines to replace its unlawful DNA exceptional procedure. Big Brother Watch, in a report of June 2012, concludes that despite the Protection of Freedoms Act, the retention of DNA in England and Wales remains an uncertain and illiberal regime.

Fake uniforms[edit]

During the summer of 2011, Hugh Orde, then president of the ACPO, was seen wearing a dark blue police-style uniform with ACPO insignia, and was accused of wearing a fake uniform. Senior police officers claimed that the uniform was not that of any police force in the country but 'closely resembled' the uniform worn by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Paul Stephenson.[32]Sam Leith, an author, journalist and literary editor of The Spectator, mocked Orde's decision 'to wear this Gadaffi-style pretend uniform on television', and suggested it was 'a subliminal pitch for the Met Commissioner's job.'[33]Brian Paddick, at the time the Police Commander for the London Borough of Lambeth, said: 'It's unusual for the president of ACPO to appear in all these interviews in uniform. He is sending a clear signal: how would I look in the commissioner's uniform?'[34][35] One officer noted: 'If anything, Hugh should be wearing the uniform of the Police Service of Northern Ireland because that's where he served. But their uniform is green, not the dark blue he currently wears.'[32] An ACPO spokesperson stated that the 'Police Reform Act 2002 states that the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers holds the rank of chief constable. Not being a member of a particular force, the President wears a generic police uniform'.[32]

Parker Review[edit]

In 2013, an independent review of ACPO by GeneralSir Nick Parker was published. It recommended that ACPO be replaced by a new body, in the interests of greater transparency and cost effectiveness.[36][37] On the basis of these recommendations, a new organization, the National Police Chiefs' Council, was set up to replace ACPO, which it did on 1 April 2015.[38]

Notable members[edit]

  • Commander Christine Jones (Metropolitan Police), lead on mental health issues


  1. ^ abJohn Steele (20 October 2001). 'Police chief 'club' may become closed shop'. The Telegraph. London.
  2. ^ abcDuncan Gardham (15 February 2009). 'ACPO makes £18m from criminal records checks'. Daily Telegraph. London.
  3. ^'Sir Hugh Orde elected ACPO President'. Police Service of Northern Ireland. 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 19 September 2010.
  4. ^'Our Structure'. Association of Chief Police Officers. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  5. ^'Police chiefs' body Acpo 'may go bust' as funds dry up'. BBC News. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  6. ^Newburn, T (2008). '5'. Handbook of Policing. Willan Publishing. ISBN0-571-15089-6.
  7. ^'APA BOARD MEETING – WEDNESDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2009'. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  8. ^Gerry Northam (August 1989). Shooting in the Dark: Riot Police in Britain. Faber and Faber. pp. 41, 46. ISBN0-571-15089-6.
  9. ^'About ACPO'. Association of Chief Police Officers. Archived from the original on 25 July 2005.
  10. ^'President of ACPO'. Police Reform Act 2002. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012.
  11. ^'Police Certificates'. ACRO Criminal Records Office.
  12. ^'About Us'. ACRO Criminal Records Office.
  13. ^'About AVCIS'. Association of Chief Police Officers. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  14. ^'National Community Tension Team FAQ Leaflet'(PDF). Association of Chief Police Officers. Archived from the original(PDF) on 9 November 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  15. ^'National Counter Terrorism Security Office website'. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  16. ^ ab'Daily Hansard - Written Answers - Police National Intelligence and Co-ordination Centre'. Hansard. United Kingdom Parliament. 21 July 2009. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011.
  17. ^Tackling extremism in the UK: report by the Extremism Taskforce, GOV.UK, 2013-12-04
  18. ^Sean O’Neill (10 March 2010). 'Tories accuse senior police of giving political cover to Labour'. Times Online. London.
  19. ^'Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence taken before the Home Affairs Committee - Sir Hugh Orde and Chief Constable Tim Hollis'. United Kingdom Parliament. 13 October 2009.
  20. ^'Greater transparency in Freedom of Information' (Press release). UK Ministry of Justice. 30 March 2010. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013.
  21. ^'Comment on MOJ announcement for ACPO to come under FOI in October 2011' (Press release). Association of Chief Police Officers. 30 March 2010. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 2010-04-01.
  22. ^'Archived copy'. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^
  24. ^Jason Lewis (7 February 2009). 'Secret police unit set up to spy on British 'domestic extremists''. Mail On-Line. London. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  25. ^ by Jason Lewis Body in charge of UK policing policy is now an £18m-a-year brand charging the public £70 for a 60p criminal records check 15 February 2009, accessed 27 April 2009
  26. ^Jason Lewis (21 February 2010). 'Millions of anti-terror cash spent on luxury London flats for police chiefs'. Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 23 February 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  27. ^ abFelix Allen and Justin Davenport (22 February 2010). 'Police chiefs' group spent £1.6m on Westminster flats'. London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
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  38. ^'Chief Constable Sara Thornton has been appointed as Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC)' (Press release). National Police Chiefs' Council. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2015.

External links[edit]

  • Association of Chief Police Officers website (archived link from March 2015)
  • Association of Chief Police Officers companies grouped at OpenCorporates
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