28 Jul Duwayne Brooks OBE and Jane Deighton attended the opening hearing of the Under Cover Policing Inquiry at the High Court today
The Chairman Christopher Pitchford outline the terms and the process. Mr Brooks OBE has raised several initial concerns with the Secretary to the Inquiry. They are:
- The omission of covert recordings from the terms of reference – they appear to exclude the covert recording of Mr Brooks and myself but also all telephone surveillance. Absent its inclusion the Inquiry will find it hard not to reach skewed conclusions both as to the role of undercover policing in the detection and prevention of crime and in its recommendations.
- The Chairman is currently sitting alone. The fact finding and decision making that this Inquiry involves is so extensive it seems a hapless task to ask of one person. Further the absence of a panel appears to ignore the significant benefit that panel members have brought , by reason of their number and specific areas of expertise, to other inquiries such as the Mcpherson Inquiry and that assessors bring to Courts.
- The anticipated length of the Inquiry – 3 years. Mr Brooks has suffered for over 20 years. A key element in his suffering is the covert intrusion on his privacy. Inevitably the Inquiry will replicate and even enhance that intrusion – whatever measures are taken to minimise this. It compounds the wrong already done to him to subject him to a further 3 years. We ask that ways are found to speed the process up.
- The make up of the Inquiry team. He was concerned that no non-white members of the team were in Court today. Could you please let us know what the diversity of the team is?
- The security of evidence. It has been a longstanding concern that the MPS have control of their documents. What steps are being taken to ensure the integrity of this evidence?
- Absent of its inclusion the Inquiry will find it hard not to reach skewed conclusions both as to the role of undercover policing and prevention of crime and in its recommendations.
The terms of reference and the Chairman’s opening remarks can be found on the Inquiry website here.
Accounts of the covert surveillance of Duwayne Brooks can be found here.