§ 57. Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will issue further guidelines to the special branch of the police on the use of surveillance techniques and the definition of the term subversive in the context of the recent guidelines which he has drawn up for them.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
Special branch applies the definition of subversion formulated by Lord Harris of Greenwich in 1975, and quoted in paragraph 20 of the "Guidelines on the Work of a Special Branch" issued on 19 December 1984; "Subversive activities are … those which threaten the safety or well-being of the State, and which are intended to undermine or overthrow Parliamentary democracy by political, industrial or violent means" —Official Report, House of Lords, 26 February 1975, Vol. 357, c. 947. The definition is well understood by chief officers and we do not consider that any further guidance is needed on this point.