As ‚domestic extremism‘ police units are reorganised, we say goodbye to an old favourite of protesters – the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (NETCU). Despite the government’s attempts to present these reorganisations as ‚cleaning up‘ the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) following the Mark Kennedy scandal, these plans are from before Kennedy was revealed as an infiltrator and the second Ratcliffe Trial collapsed. They are due to be completed by summer 2011. Here we will chart the rise and fall of NETCU and its sister organisations, the effect they have had on protest movements in the UK, and consider what the future might hold.
There is little denying that for a small, secretive off-shoot of the police NETCU has received much attention from the protest movement since its creation in 2004. Its name is invoked whenever non-uniformed police turn up with cameras, knowing too much, at demonstrations and trials. (more at corporatewatch.org)