The National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (formerly, the National Domestic Extremism Unit) is a national police unit of the National Police Chiefs' Council within the Metropolitan Police Service Specialist Operations Group.
The National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit is a police unit within the Metropolitan Police Service Specialist Operations Group. The unit was created in 2004 under the Association of Chief Police Officers in Wales and England. The purpose of the unit is to directly combat domestic extremism in society including acts of terrorism motivated by extremism.
The unit was developed and put into action in 2004. It was started up again based on the Special Demonstration Squad (which served the same purpose as the current NDEDIU) that was developed in the 1960s. It was shut down in 2008 but then took up the role of the Special Demonstration Squad. In November 2010, the three units of the Association of Chief Police Officers was renamed as the National Domestic Extremism Unit. The unit was then brought under the Metropolitan Police Service Business group in 2011. It was estimated that over 9000 members were a part of this unit in 2013. The unit began with the name National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism (NCDE) then was renamed National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU). It is now referred to as the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU). The unit was headed by the Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Greany but is now vacant after he was promoted to Commander and then departed in September 2014. Chris Greany is now said to be with the National Police Coordination Centre (NPCC).
When the National Domestic Extremism Unit was under the Association of Chief Police Officers it consisted of multiple police units. Some of these units were actually known by the public for their use of force in protests and their deployment and mobilization of undercover police units in activist and political movements throughout Greater London. Some of these units included the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, National Domestic Extremism Team, and National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit. As of May 2013, the unit is split into two distinct groups: the Protest and Disorder Intelligence Unit (with the purpose of providing strategic analysis in regards to protesting and public disorder) and the Domestic Extremism Intelligence Unit (with the purpose of providing intelligence of domestic extremism overseas and in the UK). Some notable operations include the tracing of an animal rights campaign titled Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and the infamous letter bomber Miles Cooper.
In November 2010, it was announced that the three ACPO units commanded by the National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism would be rebranded as the National Domestic Extremism Unit and brought under the control of the Metropolitan Police Business Group by mid-2011. Two of the merged units were the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit.
The National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit collects data and stores it in a massive database known as the National Domestic Extremism Database. This database has information on individuals who have been labeled domestic extremists or who have been associated with domestic extremism and protests including the topic of public disorder. The database appears to be managed by the Metropolitan Police Service and is designated under the National Special Branch Intelligence System (NSBIS). This database wasn’t revealed until October 2009 by the Guardian. Little information is actually known about this database since it is so secretive. The Guardian revealed a series of documents in which information about citizens attending “lawful demonstrations” and gatherings was recorded and documented even though these civilians had nothing to do with extremism attacks. Prior to releasing information about the database, the Guardian had been posting news articles about United Kingdom police forces arresting and detaining protestors for disturbing peaceful protests. This media outlet was also reporting that the police had been claiming that all of the extensive background research they do was by no means invading personal space or property and they had valid reasoning to watch citizens of the United Kingdom. But at the same time these articles discussed the controversy of activists claiming the police were creating excuses to monitor the public.
Domestic extremism is used to distinguish individuals who are involved in campaigns or political groups which have a “militant edge” from terrorist groups or organizations, and where crime was a factor in the process of the campaign/protest. The intent of the extremist is usually to prevent an event or change a policy. The act will be completely out of the ordinary and may result in civilian casualties or potentially first responder/military casualties. Attacks range from stabbings and shootings to chemical bomb attacks. Extremist attacks are typically meant to pose threats to the public but not on a national scale, with the intent to grab the government’s attention.
As a result of The Guardian articles with regards the activities and accusations of PC Mark Kennedy of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit within the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit, and the collapse of the subsequent trial of six activists, a number of initiatives and changes were announced: