Written Question: Undercover Policing Inquiry
Lord Moylan: To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the Undercover Policing Inquiry to make its final report; what has been the cost of that inquiry to date; and what the final cost of that inquiry is expected to be.
The Minister of State at the Home Office (Lady Williams of Trafford):The Undercover Policing Inquiry was established in 2015, to investigate undercover deployments conducted by police forces in England and Wales since 1968 and was expected to report within three years.
In May 2018, the Undercover Policing Inquiry published a Strategic Review which anticipated that the Inquiry would begin evidence hearings in June 2019 and that it would report to the Home Secretary before the end of 2023. In January 2019 the Inquiry published an update which explained that several issues, such as the significant complexity of documents and the difficulties presented by issues such as privacy and data protection, had led to a fresh look at the timelines. Evidence hearings subsequently began in November 2020 and will continue in 2021.
The Terms of Reference state the Inquiry will report to the Home Secretary as soon as practicable. It is important that the Inquiry gets to the truth and makes meaningful recommendations for the future. The Inquiry remains independent of the Home Office, which is crucial to its effectiveness and so, decisions and conduct in relation to the investigations are for the Inquiry to make.
The Inquiry cost, to the end of September 2020, is £32,286,400; this information is published by the Inquiry every quarter on its website. The Government is committed to giving the Inquiry the resources it needs to fulfil its important function of getting to the truth, exposing what has gone wrong in the past, and learning lessons for the future.
It is difficult to provide an expected final cost of the Inquiry at this stage, but this will be published in full, at the close of the Inquiry.