As Netpol pointed out, this infiltration "is about disruption as much as gathering intelligence". I think it was shared somewhere on the forum though I can't find it now, but I remember seeing a piece recently about how police infiltration caused such distrust and paranoia within and among groups that it essentially broke the environmental protest movement in the early 2000s right when it was starting to make major inroads. The consequences of that are something we are going to be living with for a long time.As of April 2018 the [Undercover Policing] inquiry has confirmed that undercover police had infiltrated the following groups and movements:
Anarchist groups, Animal Liberation Front, Anti-Apartheid Movement, Anti-Fascist Action, Big Flame, Black Power movement, Brixton Hunt Saboteurs, Anglia Ruskin Churchill Society (Young Conservatives), Colin Roach Centre, Dambusters Mobilising Committee, Dissent!, Earth First!, Essex Hunt Saboteurs, Friends of Freedom Press Ltd, Globalise Resistance, Independent Labour Party, Independent Working Class Association, International Marxist Group, International Socialists, Irish National Liberation Solidarity Front, London Animal Action, London Animal Rights Coalition, London Boots Action Group, London Greenpeace, Militant, No Platform, Antifa, Operation Omega, Reclaim the Streets, Red Action, Republican Forum, Revolutionary Socialist Students Federation, Socialist Party (England and Wales), Socialist Workers Party, South London Animal Movement (SLAM), Tri-Continental, Troops Out Movement, Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, West London Hunt Saboteurs, Workers Revolutionary Party, Young Haganah, Young Liberals, Youth against Racism in Europe.
The police weren't (for the most part) infiltrating groups that were a risk to the general public, they were infiltrating groups that were challenging the status quo, even when that status quo was obviously wrong. I'm too young (or was too politically unengaged at the time) to remember people being pro-Apartheid so it honestly boggles my mind that anti-Apartheid protests were seen as a threat to the state, but clearly someone in power thought they were and decided to target them for decades. The fact these infiltrations happened over decades - decades when the Conservatives were in power but also decades when Labour was - is interesting as the focus remained almost entirely on left-wing groups. I don't know how to interpret that, but I thought it was worth noting.
The inquiry is expected to report in 2023 and so far has cost over £47 million and looked at 54 years' worth of undercover policing.