Talk:Forward Intelligence Team

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Good article Forward Intelligence Team has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
September 4, 2009 Good article nominee Listed

External Links[edit]

External links do not need to meet the same criteria as primary sources. Wnjr (talk) 16:27, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

does anyone else think there should be talk of fitwatch and possibly a link as well? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Edit War[edit]

There seems to be something of an edit war going on in the external links section, with out any discussion or attempt to reach consensus on the talk page. Most of this has concerned sources that are clearly written by either people who come into conflict with FIT teams as protestors, or have clear sympathy with them, such as Schnews, Alan Lodge and FitWatch. I think these should be restored. Wikipedia:External_links#What_to_link does not say that all POV links should be removed, only that we should strive for balance. Indeed the article linked as a reference is clearly POV, as can be seen from the address.

I added links yesterday to articles from well known British publications that describe the FIT, and are much more recent than the other articles. These are not self published articles and not from publications with a clear anti-police POV, but even these were removed without explanation, this time by Police,Mad,Jack.

What's the reason for removing these useful resources that will help anyone who wants learn about the FIT from this page? Sorsoup (talk) 11:52, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I just removed your unreferenced facts, I would like to see them included but it is Wikipedia rules. Plus, the thing about the external links is they must not be from forums or sites which do not deal in facts. Also, I do not see any problems with your links so I put them back. [[::User:Police,Mad,Jack|Police,Mad,Jack]] ([[::User talk:Police,Mad,Jack|talk]] · [[::Special:Contributions/Police,Mad,Jack|contribs]]) 12:32, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
This is nonsense. External links can be anything relevant. They're not the same as citations. (talk) 06:55, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks for restoring those, although you actually restored the New Statesman link but not the one to the Guardian. I've now put the Guardian link back in. I didn't actually add any facts, and you didn't remove any. I just copy-edited the introductory bit describing the role of the FIT, as it had a gerund standing in for a whole sentance. You just reverted that and put the gerund "Using cameras, camcorders and audio recorders to conduct overt surveillance of the public." back in as a sentance.
Is there any reason we shouldn't also link to Alan Lodge and Fitwatch? They're POV, but I don't think simply linking to them would make the article POV. sorsoup (talk) 12:45, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, its an encyclopedia. The idea is to supply facts without being biased in a favour of something, I'd just leave it personally. [[::User:Police,Mad,Jack|Police,Mad,Jack]] ([[::User talk:Police,Mad,Jack|talk]] · [[::Special:Contributions/Police,Mad,Jack|contribs]]) 13:16, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
We should be careful not to emphasise any "unverifiable research", which this might be on the border of. Ideally, if Lodge or Fitwatch have a valid point about FIT then we should work that into the actual article, if they've attracted any press or academic coverage on the subject. --McGeddon (talk) 16:25, 28 August 2008 (UTC)


I think this article could do with some more work. I think FITwatch should definitely stay in the article - at the very least it's a large resource of images of FITs. I've added some more info and added that they have been active since at least 1996. Another article about them is dated 1995 but I'm not sure if this is a reliable source. It would be good if there was a section on any positive work that they have done to counter the "Controversies" section. Anybody know of anything that FITs have helped stop or of anyone arrested as a consequence of their intelligence gathering? Smartse (talk) 17:04, 11 April 2009 (UTC)


I'm not doing an official GA review or anything, I just noticed this and wanted to point out that the External Links section can use some cleanup. Many of the ELs appear to be news stories or articles, which seem like they would be more appropriate as references rather than ELs. The EL section is generally reserved for broad websites or information sources. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 14:09, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Red links[edit]

Some red links have been added to the article - I don't think that most are necessary. Marc Vallee may just about pass WP:N but Linda Catt and Andrew Wood (activist) probably both fall under WP:BLP1E and so would not merit their own articles. Similarly any information that can be found on Fitwatch should be included in this article - if you can find more about them from reliable sources then please add it - I've spent quite a while looking and I think that any reliable sources are already included in the article. Please prove me wrong if you can! Smartse (talk) 15:31, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

As a month has passed by with no comments I've removed the red links other than for Marc Vallee due to the reasoning above. Please explain why you would like to add them back before doing so. Thanks Smartse (talk) 16:03, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Plain English[edit]

I'm having to change quite a lot of non-neutral language used by (e.g.) the police themselves, such as restrain, instead of "bind or tie-up" etc. I even had one case of "strapping" instead of "straps"! Let's stick to the plain English versions, please, and leave the jargon to (e.g.) the Home Office. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Basingwerk (talkcontribs) 13:56, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

On the other hand, "neutral" is hard to define. Is "straps" really more neutral than "strapping", and is "bind" really more neutral than "restrain"? "Binding someone with black straps" sounds factual to the victim, while "restraining someone with strapping" makes it sound civilised. What was done was neutrally barbaric, and the language should say that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Basingwerk (talkcontribs) 14:12, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I changed strap to restrain - this is the most neutral term IMO. I guess it does make it sound "civilised" but that is our job as editors. Restraining is hardly jargon either. Smartse (talk) 15:58, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Your job is to tell the trust, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; not to tone things down to make them "sound" civilised. "Restrain" is true, nothing but true, BUT it is not the WHOLE truth. The whole truth is that straps were used, and the article must specifically say straps to convey the whole truth. Please put it back. Thanks.

Someone has already changed it and I think that it is still neutral, which is good. We don't tell the whole truth because that would make articles extremely long and tedious. Thanks for the input though. Smartse (talk) 13:27, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Restraint is longer than strap, so in this case, it is shorter to tell the whole truth. But I'm feeling generous, today, for some reason, and I can see you're a good chap. Let's leave it be. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

By the way, I put in "held against their will" because some geezer objected to "imprisoned". Remand is a legal word that does not convey the loss of freedom suffered by these women, for asking coppers for their ID - a reasonable request in any reasonable country. Obvious, disgusting behavior should be described, not in legal terms that make it appear reasonable, but in terms that describe the hideousness of the act properly to the reader. Thus "held against their will" is a good substitute, IMHO.

Hmm, I changed the "held against their will" bit back to remand before - it says that they were held in a prison and as I said in my edit summary no one is held in prison voluntarily therefore the against their will bit is a bit pointless. The source given doesn't actually state anything about it anyway. I'll fix it up using this article. Smartse (talk) 15:04, 9 July 2009 (UTC)


The police are not required to wear epaulettes by anyone - they may be supposed to but they don't have to. See Chapter 6 of this report out yesterday. Smartse (talk) 15:56, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

If only that were true. The Home Office have recently decreed that all officers (met and elsewhere) MUST show their shoulder numbers, see There is nothing ambiguous here - the Home Office has insisted that they have to do it, come what may. The Home Office says MUST, and that trumps the report. Sorry.

The HO may have said that now, but when this incident took place that was not the case - therefore these references are not relevant to the story and I can't find any reference to the home office at all in that article. Smartse (talk) 21:41, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

OK, maybe I'm being a bit harsh on those FIT guys. But if I find any evidence that coppers knew they must wear their badges , I'll be back to fix this, Smartse... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:46, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Don't get me wrong I think that it is awful that they don't have to but we must not state something which isn't true here. I hope you understand why. Smartse (talk) 15:05, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

New source[edit]

[1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:39, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


I'm going to dispute "Despite the implication in the name that their function is to gather intelligence, they are intended to have more of a deterrent effect", because the source it relies upon is an article on the use of FITs in a certain situation, not the use of FITs in general. ninety:one 22:10, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Ok but that should still be included as part of their purpose. Also I don't understand your reasoning about removing the info regarding it being illegal to photograph police in certain situations - this has been widely publicised in many sources. can you explain why you removed it? Thanks Smartse (talk) 22:23, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
...because it's not illegal to photograph the police 'in certain situations'? The whole S78 thing was blown out of proportion by a very liberal reading of the Act. Specifically, this reference was to a comment piece which in turn provided absolutely no evidence for the claim. ninety:one 22:45, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, people have certainly been hassled a lot for photographing police officers and I heard about it being illegal in certain circumstances from elsewhere too. Never mind though. I think that the deterrent effect does need to be included, it is only in certain circumstances but I've also just found a police source saying that they aimed to disrupt people at the Camp for Climate Action last year and included it in the lead. We really need to sort out the lead anyway. Smartse (talk) 04:49, 2 September 2009 (UTC)


I've moved all the info under Controversies into several different sections. Having this section isn't very neutral and in actual fact a lot of it isn't really controversial anyway. I think that the criticism section could be reorganised anyway and made more neutral. Any help would be appreciated. Smartse (talk) 04:49, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Climate Camp IPCC complaint[edit]

Regarding the two women arrested for no reason at the 2008 Climate Camp who made a complaint to the IPCC, what happened in that case? (talk) 05:13, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, nothing much came from the IPCC complaint itself. [2] says the complaints were redirect to Kent police's PSD. It does say they can appeal to the IPCC if they aren't satisfied, and weirdly the Guardian article was after the IPCC had already directed them to the PSD, but I can't find any evidence the complaints ever made it back to the IPCC so I presume they were either satisfied with the Kent PSD investigation or otherwise decided not to pursue it further. I haven't investigated what became of the Kent PSD investigation. Nil Einne (talk) 16:32, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Looking more closely at the Guardian source, I see it says that the people had just sent a complaint with the video evidence when it was published. I can't find any mention of these later complaints on the IPCC website. It's possible that they were simply privately directed to the Kent police PSD, particularly if they were the ones who had been directed before (and told to appeal if they weren't happy with the outcome). It's possible there was some commentary in the general investigation of tactics [3] although it's unlikely it was very specific. Nil Einne (talk) 16:46, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
The only other significant thing I found is some other complaints relating to police searches lead to compensation [4]. Nil Einne (talk) 16:55, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Ah nevermind finally found [5]. It seems I was confused because although Kent police were I guess in charge of the general operation (hence why the above all refer to the Kent police etc), these particular officers were from the West Yorkshire police. Them being West Yorkshire is actually noted in the Guardian article but I didn't notice. Anyway I still can't find any mention of the investigation on the IPCC website. Either it's too old, or they didn't publish it publicly or their involvement is more limited than that PR suggests. Nil Einne (talk) 17:03, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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