To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department where the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) is based; who its director is; how many staff the NPOIU (a) employs and (b) seconds from other organisations; what its budget for 2009-10 is; to whom it is accountable; and what databases on prospective threats to public order the NPOIU (i) compiles and (ii) manages.
The National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) is based in central London and is headed by a Detective Superintendent who reports to the Association of Chief Police Officers' (ACPO) National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism, Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell. In turn he is responsible to the ACPO Committee for Terrorism and Allied Matters (TAM). For operational security reasons the identity of the head of NPOIU and the unit's precise location are not disclosed.
NPOIU employs between 60 and 70 police officers and staff all of whom are seconded from local police forces. Its budget for 2009-10 was £5 million.
The NPOIU database is a small intelligence database that is used to coordinate on a national basis intelligence that is collected by forces. The main purpose of the intelligence function is:
to provide the police service with an ability to develop a national threat assessment and profile for domestic extremism; to support forces to reduce crime and disorder from domestic extremism; to support a proportionate police response to protest activity; and to help forces manage concerns of communities and businesses in order to minimise conflict and disorder.
The police will always carefully balance these responsibilities with their duty to facilitate peaceful protest.