Subversion, sabotage, and spying: Political policing and state racism in the UK

Over the weekend of 16 and 17 April 2016, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies co-sponsored the 'Subversion, sabotage, and spying: Political policing and state racism in the UK' conference in London. 

The conference focused on two main themes:

  • The evolution and practice of political policing in UK - building on the hugely successful conference in 2015, this event explored the history and disastrous impact of the policing of social and justice movements, in light of the upcoming Undercover Policing Inquiry, and demanded the Inquiry adopts an open and rigorous approach.
  • The nature of state racism - the bedrock for institutional, popular and sometimes violent racism – and policing policies that target or create notions of suspect communities and their damaging impact on British society.

Saturday 16 April 2016: Policing of Black, Asian and suspect communities – spying, lying, dying and racism

Political Policing: Setting the context

Tony Bunyan (Statewatch)

Professor Mark McGovern

Colin Prescod (Institute of Race Relations)


Policing of Suspect Communities

John McDonnell MP (Shadow Chancellor)

Gareth Peirce (Birnberg Peirce)

Becky Clarke (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Muhbeen Hussain (Muslim Youth Forum)


From suspect communities to targeting of campaigns against injustice

Suresh Grover (The Monitoring Group)

Vakass Hussain (Support the Rotherham 12)

Abrar Javid (Support the Rotherham 12)


Why is the Undercover Police Inquiry is important?

Baroness Doreen Lawrence

Imran Khan (Imran Khan & Partners)

Kate Wilson (Police Spies Out of Lives)

Stafford Scott (Tottenham Rights/The Monitoring Group)


Sunday 17 April 2016: Spycops and the UPI – is accountability possible or a pipedream?

History of the Special Demonstration Squad and Spycops, Herne and Ellison

Rob Evans (Journalist, The Guardian)


The Spied Upon Speak out

Baroness Jenny Jones (The Green Party)

Sukhdev Reel (Mother of Ricky Reel)

Dave Smith, (Blacklisted)

Helen Steel (Police Spies Out of Lives)

Janet Alder, (sister of Christopher Alder)

Alastair Morgan, (brother of Daniel Morgan)


Challenges facing the Undercover Policing Inquiry

Michael Mansfield QC

Courtenay Griffiths QC

A statement from Peter Francis (Ex-SDS officer turned Whistleblower)


An official update from the Undercover Policing Inquiry

Piers Doggart and Stephen Brown, members of the UPI legal team Question and Answer session


This conference was co-organised by Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and The Monitoring Group, and was supported by Imran Khan and Partners and Tottenham Rights. It was hosted by London South Bank University, School of Law & Social Sciences. We would like to thank all those who contributed and attended, and those volunteers and staff who gave up their valuable time for this event.