Who the hell is the National Public Order Intelligence Unit !!! I have never even heard of them before this - and I have my ear to the ground !http://www.fitwatch.org.uk/domestic-extremism/national-public-order-intelligence-unit/
The NPOIU collect and analyse intelligence on political protest that has been judged to be ‘domestic extremist’. They do this in a number of different ways:
• Collecting intelligence at demonstrations. They regularly attend protest around the country, and are frequently seen taking stills photographs of people they decide are ‘of interest’ to them. We believe this is used to ‘track’ people’s political activity, as well as to identify individuals involved.
• Operating CHIS (Covert Human Intelligence Sources). They are known to run undercover operations, which could include undercover police, informants or electronic interceptions.
• Analysing existing or publicly available information. They have access to various databases operated by police forces around the country, including the image database of protesters operated by the Metropolitan Police’s public order unit (CO11). Their status as a private company does not hinder them from having access to whatever police records they wish.
• Directing and advising regional forces in their collection and use of intelligence. They were credited in one of the reports on Kingsnorth as having an effective role in ‘disruption’ of the Climate Camp protest.
Run by ACPO, the NPOIU is an organisation that hides in the shadows. Until organisations such as Fitwatch started publicising their existence, there was little official information available.
ACPO admitted the existence of the NPOIU back in 1998, but has only very recently published information about them on its website. http://www.acpo.police.uk/NCDE/NPOIU.aspx
Their website now proclaims that “The National Public Order Intelligence Unit was established to support police forces in managing the intelligence around the threat to communities from public disorder connected to domestic extremism and single issue campaigning.”
It is not clear how much data on us (including photos) the NPOIU hold themselves, and how much is stored on police databases. They have recently released a statement claiming that they hold ‘only’ 1822 photos. However it needs to be remembered that in addition to this, they have the ability to store and access images held on a variety of police databases. We strongly suspect that there are many more than 1822 who have been flagged up as a potential 'domestic extremist'.
The intelligence processed by NPOIU is also made available to NETCU (National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit), a private sector operation similar to NPOIU. NETCU’s role is in liaising with companies and corporations who have become the target of protests, such as Eon, the power giant which has been the target of environmental campaigns. Activists have expressed fears that NETCU pass on personal details of protesters to the companies concerned.
"FORWARD INTELLIGENCE TEAMS" ***please read!!! this info is massively important esp to activists ***
Forward Intelligence Teams are police who attend demonstrations in order to gather intelligence on individuals and groups involved in political protest. They also work at football matches, where fans will know them as ‘spotters’.
As well as collecting intelligence they also have a history of harassing and intimidating people involved in, or organising political protest.
Many people will know them as the cops that wear the blue bibs on their yellow hi-viz jackets (see picture). Often they are seen with cameramen. In London the FIT use professional photographers, who aren’t police officers, although they are employed full time by the Met police. They use specialist kit combining video and stills cameras with powerful flash lighting and wear baseball caps and/or jackets saying ‘police photographer’.
Everywhere else in the country, the FIT cops take the pictures themselves, or use police evidence gatherers to do it for them.
They gather intelligence on, and take pictures of people they decide they have an ‘interest’ in’. There is no requirement that people have committed or suspected of committing criminal offences. Click here for more info on their role, or for analysis on the changing nature of FIT operations.
FITwatch turns the tables on the FIT and takes and publishes photographs of them – click here for names and photos of the usual suspects.
Domestic Extremism is a term used by police units to describe protesters who use direct action as a way to bring about political change, or groups whose demonstrations are thought to contain a risk of public disorder. The term has been used to cover pretty much everyone who has been involved in significant protests against the state or multi-national corporations in recent years.
There are five categories of domestic extremism, which are very broadly drawn:
• Animal rights
• Extreme right wing
• Extreme left wing
• Emerging trends
Domestic extremism also forms a part of the PREVENT strategy (preventing violent extremism), although PREVENT is primarily targeted at Muslim communities.
Domestic extremism is policed through a specialist team headed up by a National Co-ordinator for Domestic Extremism, Anton Setchell. He runs three units -
• NPOIU – National Public Order Intelligence Unit. This carries out surveillance and analyses ‘intelligence’ on political activists and protesters. It is thought to be headed up by Detective Superintendent Maria Smith of Wiltshire police, although this is unconfirmed.
• NETCU – National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit. This unit advises and supports businesses that are the target of protest campaigns. The ‘public face’ of NETCU is Superintendent Steve Pearl.
• NDET - National Domestic Extremism Team. This carries out investigations into alleged offences carried out by political activists. It is headed up by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Robbins of Kent Police.
These units employ 100 people, of which two thirds are seconded police officers. They are funded to the tune of £9m.
These units are run by ACPO and are not part of any regional police force. Like ACPO, they have the status of private limited company. They are not currently covered by the Freedom of Information Act, although there have been moves to include them, but ACPO have promised to respond to FOI requests. So far though, not much has been forthcoming.
The domestic extremism units are accountable only to Anton Setchell, who in turn reports only to ACPO TAM, a high level ACPO committee that includes counter terrorism units and the security services, as well as senior government officials.