England: Undercover cops infiltrated over 1,000 groups in four decades

Sir John Mitting
Sir John Mitting

Undercover police officers have infiltrated more than 1,000 political groups in England and Wales since 1968, the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) has found.

The list of groups has not been released, but includes environmentalist, anti-racist and animal rights groups, as well as far-left and far-right parties, The Guardian reports.

The total figure was disclosed after activists who were subject of police spying asked how many groups had been targeted.

The far-reaching inquiry has been headed up since Tuesday by Sir John Mitting, a judge of the High Court.

Sir John replaced Sir Christopher Pitchford, who announced in February that he would step down from the role following his diagnosis with motor neurone disease.

The inquiry has been held up by legal applications by the police, who want to keep the proceedings private and the identity of undercover police officers confidential.