Financial assistance request for separate representation at inquiry

Reference code: 
PCD 584
Date signed: 
19 June 2019
Authorisation name: 
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Policing and Crime

Executive summary

This decision contains an application for financial assistance made by the Applicant for separate representation at the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Recommendation

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is asked to consider an application for funding in the sum of £29,150 (excl VAT) for a former officer in respect of separate representation at the Undercover Policing Inquiry. The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime has the discretion to authorise financial assistance for police officers/staff where it would be conducive to the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force

Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)

1.    Introduction and background

1.1.    The counterpart of this report is exempt because it falls within an exemption specified in para 2(2) of the Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 and/or under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 e.g. because the information amounts to personal data, is confidential or commercially sensitive.  
  
1.2.    On 12 March 2015 the Home Secretary announced the appointment of Sir Christopher Pitchford to conduct an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 to “review practices in the use of undercover policing, establishing justice for the families and victims and making recommendations for future operations and police practice” (“the Inquiry”).

1.3.    The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis is a designated Core Participant and therefore no legal advice or representation can be provided to any other individual.

1.4.    The applicant, having opted to receive legal advice and representation as a witness to the Inquiry, but being unable to be represented by the designated lawyer team for reasons of identified or potential conflict, applied via Messrs Slater and Gordon for MPS to fund their separate representation at the Inquiry.

1.5.    The applicant represents that he satisfies the criteria for entitlement to financial assistance namely: that they were performing official duties; that they were acting in good faith and that they exercised reasonable judgment.

2.    Issues for consideration

2.1.    For the DMPC to consider whether the financial assistance will secure an efficient and effective Force.

2.2.    A decision is required on funding for separate representation as soon as reasonably practicable but in any event by 10 June 2019. This is because, in the event that MOPAC declines to fund the applicant, they may need to make funding applications to the Inquiry.  The Inquiry intends to publish the applicant’s cover identity in the near future. Whilst the applicant has previously opposed this, they will be expected to make written application to the Inquiry if that position is maintained.

3.    Financial Comments

3.1.    The funding estimate of £29,150 is for the representation of the applicant. This estimate is in relation to the solicitor and counsel costs for production of evidence and up to conclusion of evidential hearings.  It will be necessary to make a further application should the hearing time estimates prove insufficient.   

3.2.    If approved, the cost of providing legal representation set out within this paper will be met from a specific reserve created to support work undertaken in respect of the Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing.

4.    Legal Comments

4.1.    The DMPC has a discretion under Section 3(6) and para. 7 of Schedule 3 of the 
Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 to fund police officers’ legal expenses in proceedings if they consider that providing the funding secures the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force.  The Deputy Mayor has delegated authority, under para. 4.10 of the Scheme of Delegation, to consider the current application for financial assistance.  

4.2.    Conflicts of interest and potential conflicts of interest as they arise between the MPS and the applicant are set out in the Part 2 report 

5.    GDPR and Data Privacy 

5.1.    The processing of personal data has been minimised as part of this decision and is held within Part 2 of the report.

6.    Equality Comments

6.1.    In order to ensure the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) can meet its Terms of Reference, it is important the MPS as an organisation, is as open and transparent as it can be in providing information on the actions and activities of those deployed as part of the SDS and seconded to the NPOIU. This includes ensuring allegations of sexual or racial discrimination and which are relevant to those Terms of Reference, are able to be properly explored by the UCPI.

6.2.    The details outlined in the Exempt Report are an indication of the complexities the MPS are dealing with in assisting the Inquiry, however they also demonstrate the extent of that assistance which will in turn impact upon community confidence in policing and the organisation in general.

7.    Risk (including Health and Safety) Implications

7.1.    There is a risk to the safety and welfare of the applicant should their identity and the fact that they were an undercover officer reach the public domain.   


8.    Background/supporting papers

8.1.    Refer to Part 2 of the report.  


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