Government and Police Documents


A Need to Know; HMIC Thematic Inspection of Special Branch and Ports Policing
HM Inspector David Blakey, January 2003

Review that called for a significant investment in the National Special Branch Intelligence System (the “domestic extremism” database) and specialist IT provision to gather intelligence online

Guidelines on Special Branch Work in the United Kingdom
Home Office / Scottish Executive / Northern Ireland Office, March 2004

New guidelines replacing those issued in 1994 and following the HMIC review in 2003, that say Special Branch will “gather intelligence on political and animal rights extremist activity, anti-globalisation and environmental extremism and seek to prevent criminal acts on persons or property targeted by such extremists”.

Animal Welfare – Human Rights: protecting people from animal rights extremists
Home Office, July 2004

Sets out the government’s strategy ‘for countering animal rights extremism’ and acknowledged the creation of NETCU and NCDE

Guidance on the National Intelligence Model
Association of Chief Police Officers 2005

The National Intelligence Model is a a standardised approach to gathering and sharing intelligence that emphasises the creation of “sibject profiles” on individuals.

Beyond Lawful Protest: Protecting Against Domestic Extremism
National Counter Terrorism Security Office 2009

Terrorism/Extremism update for the City of London Business Community
City of London Police, 14 October 2011

The Operation of the NPIOU
Metropolitan Police, 2011

A review of national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary 2012

A review of progress made against the recommendations in HMIC’s 2012 report on the national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, June 2013

NDEDIU Nominal Creation Policy
National Domestic Extremism & Disorder Intelligence Unit, June 2013

Letter to Baroness Jenny Jones of the changed in definition of domestic extremism
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, 11 March 2014

Letter to Baroness Jenny Jones of the changed in definition of domestic extremism
Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Greany,
National Domestic Extremism & Disorder Intelligence Unit, 21 March 2014

Extremist Symbols and Flags
Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, May 2018

Includes specific references to “domestic extremists” including the Hunt Saboteurs Association and “Antifa”

Domestic Extremist Symbols

The National Coordinator Domestic Extremism (NCDE) – leaflet
Association of Chief Police Officers, undated

Job description: Detective Chief Inspector Protest and Liaison, NDEDIU
Association of Chief Police Officers, undated


Filming at protests

Evidence Gathering Teams and Non PSU Camera Operators
Derbyshire Police, June 2007

NCDE Management of Overt Images Policy
National Public Order Intelligence Unit, July 2009

Overt Filming Standard Operating Procedure
Metropolitan Police 2013

Body Worn Video Manual of Guidance – Operational Considerations
Metropolitan Police 2014


Association of Chief Police Officers

Private company that brought together chief police officers to develop national strategies and coordinate national operations. Its business area that dealt with “domestic extremism” was called ACPO-TAM ((Terrorism and Allied Matters). Closed in 2015 and replaced by the National Police Chiefs Council.

National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPIOU)


National policing unit run by ACPO that pooled intelligence from local Special Branch teams, uniformed surveillance and undercover officers.

National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism (NCDE)


National policing post run by ACPO that oversaw national investigations on “domestic extremism”, including the work of local forces and three national units: NETCU, NPOIU and NDET.

National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NECTU)


National policing unit run by ACPO that was responsible for liaising between police forces, industry and universities targeted by campaigners, particularly animal rights protests.

National Domestic Extremism Team (NDET)


National policing unit run by ACPO that was responsible for practical assistance and intelligence for local police forces facing protests from alleged ‘domestic extremists’, again particularly focusing on animal rights protests.

National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU)


National policing unit created by the merger of the NPIOU, NECTU and NDET and transferred to the Metropolitan Police.

National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU)


The new name given to the National Domestic Extremism Unit.

National Counter Terrorism Police Operations Centre (NCTPOC)

2016 to date

National policing coordination centre that absorbed the NDEDIU following the creation of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command

Academic and Non-State Documents

Special Branch more than doubles in size: Analysis of the Special Branch’s role in conducting surveillance for MI5 and on public order
Statewatch, June 2003

Operation Aeroscope – a re-examination and Operation Aeroscope files – overview
Dónal O’Driscoll, Special Branch Files Project, & November 2018

Spycops in context: A brief history of political policing in Britain
Connor Woodman, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, December 2018

Spycops in context: Counter-subversion, deep dissent and the logic of political policing
Connor Woodman, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, December 2018

Establishing the National Public Order Intelligence Unit
Connor Woodman, Special Branch Files Project, 2 April 2019

Netpol’s Commentary and Analysis

It’s Time to Close Down the Police’s “Domestic Extremism” Databases, 5 February 2019

A War on Dissent?, 28 October 2018

“Aaron-gate” – Prevent’s latest smearing of legitimate political dissent, 31 July 2018

Police maintain absolute secrecy over counter-terrorism surveillance on anti-fracking campaigners, 24 May 2018

It’s time to stop smearing anti-fracking campaigners as “extremists,4 May 2018

Home Office forced by Netpol to release ‘counter-radicalisation’ training materials, 1 May 2018

Let’s consign the police’s “Domestic Extremist” label to history, 31 January 2018

This is Not Domestic Extremism, 1 February 2017

Extraordinary judgment rubber-stamps unfounded link between anti-fracking and extremism, 21 November 2016

Government unveils new ‘counter-extremist’ bill – but still cannot define what extremism actually means, 21 May 2016

Four reasons to close down the police’s domestic extremism unit, 5 February 2016

Why are counter-terrorism police treating fracking opponents as ‘extremists’?, 9 April 2015

Met adopts ‘Kafkaesque position’ on secret surveillance database, 8 April 2015

Analysis of the UK Supreme Court ruling on surveillance of political activism, 5 March 2015

Supreme Court grants “judicial approval for the mass surveillance of UK protest movements”, 3 March 2015

Police hide behind ‘neither confirm or deny’ in the face of protester data requests, 15 November 2014

Are anti-terror police recording legitimate journalism as ‘hostile reconnaissance’?, 13 November 2014 

Counter-terrorism police visit journalist at home over fracking film, 10 November 2014 

Counter-terror police contact parents of Birmingham student protester over alleged ‘domestic extremism’, 15 July 2014

So who exactly IS now classified as a ‘Domestic Extremist’?, 22 April 2014 

“Secret Diary of an Olympic Domestic Extremist”, 5 February 2014

Catt judgement leaves police intel gathering practices in tatters, 15 March 2013


Billy Briggs. Police Scotland amends counter terrorism plan after fracking fracas, The Ferret, 25 September 2018

Mohammed Elmaazi, Spying, surveillance and sabotage – what will it take to bring an end to political policing?, Open Democracy, 18 July 2017

Rob Evans, Why exactly were the police spying on Jeremy Corbyn?, The Guardian, 27 June 2017

Rob Evans, Guardian asks Met police if it illegally accessed journalists’ emails, The Guardian , 31 March 2017

Rob Evans, Met police accused of using hackers to access protesters’ emails, The Guardian, 21 March 2017

Benjamin Kentish, Met Police ‘shredded internal documents after inquiry into undercover officers launched‘, The Independent, 9 February 2017

Dean Kirby, We’re no terrorists: The rural anti-fracking campaigners labelled ‘extremists’, Inews, 9 December 2016

Dominic Casciani, Can ministers define extremism?, BBC News, 13 May 2015

Oscar Webb, Am I on the domestic extremist database?London Review of Books, 24 March 2015

Re-visiting NETCU – police collaboration with industry, Corporate Watch, 6 August 2014

Rob Evans, Police criticised and ridiculed over attempt to spy on students and protestersThe Guardian, 15 November 2013

Paul Wright, Meet Prism’s little brother: Socmint, Wired, 26 June 2013

Paul Lewis, Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd, ‘National police unit monitors 9,000 ‘domestic extremists’‘, The Guardian, 26 June 2013

Ellie Mae O’Hagan, A life under surveillance, The Guardian, 1 November 2012

Rob Evans and Paul Lewis, Glastonbury festival: how police spied on political campaigners, The Guardian, 15 July 2012

Neil Tweedie, Eco infiltrator Mark Kennedy: The great betrayal, The Telegraph, 15 January 2011

Nick Collins, What is the National Public Order Intelligence Unit?, The Telegraph, 10 January 2011

Mark Kennedy/Stone exposed as undercover cop, Indymedia UK, 24 October 2010

Michael Peel, James Boxell and Marc Vallée, Police use of protest photos will face reviewFinancial Times, 30 June 2010

Nick Harding, Eco anarchists: A new breed of terrorist?, The Independent, 18 May 2010

Eco activists labelled as terrorists by Government, The Independent, 27 January 2010

Rob Evans, Paul Lewis & Matthew Taylor, Police in £9m scheme to log ‘domestic extremists’The Guardian, 25 October 2009

Rob Evans & Paul Lewis, Eco anarchists: A new breed of terrorist? Police forces challenged over files held on law-abiding protestersThe Guardian, 26 October 2009

Paul Lewis & Matthew Taylor, How police rebranded lawful protest as ‘domestic extremism’, The Guardian, 25 October 2009

Mark Thomas, Doth I protest too much?, The Guardian 25 October 2009

Michael Peel, James Boxell and Marc Vallée, Met under fire over picture database, Financial Times, 16 October 2009

Michael Peel and Marc Vallée, Police image library raises Orwellian concerns, Financial Times, 16 October 2009

Paul Lewis, Police caught on tape trying to recruit Plane Stupid protester as spyThe Guardian, 24 April 2009

Paul Lewis and Marc Vallée, Caught on film and stored on database: how police keep tabs on activistsThe Guardian, 9 March 2009

George Monbiot, The Paranoid SquadThe Guardian, 23 December 2008

Stephen Pritchard, The readers’ editor on … anonymous sources and claims of eco-terrorismThe Guardian, 23 November 2008

Bibi van der Zee, Is ‘ecoterrorism’ really a threat?, The Guardian, 10 November 2008