Despite the UK being well ahead of many other European nations in abolishing the use of torture, and torture being contrary to common law for several centuries now, the UK has a long continuing history of the use of torture techniques, a history it has been quite effective at covering up. The common claim by the UK, when cases of torture become public knowledge, is one of exceptional circumstances, but a pattern emerges far beyond recent well publicised cases of torture, for example the use of "advanced interrogation" by British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, far from exceptional circumstances looking back at the history of torture in Britain we will see British forces have been instrumental in the modern use of torture, both using it extensively and exporting torture techniques to allies in the form of "The Five Techniques" (also known as Deep-Interrogation).
From Arab Investigation Centres of the 1930s in Mandate Palestine, to Viper Island of the Andaman Islands during British colonialism, the UK authorities have always reserved space for torture during any "exception circumstances" that arise. Torture continued throughout the 20th century, with Camp 020 at Latchmere House and The London Cage at Kensington Palace Gardens being used to torture German POWs during the Second World War. But it was during Operation Demetrius in Northern Ireland in the 1970s that the Five Techniques of deprivation of sleep, food and drink, stress positions, hooding and subjection to ‘white noise’ (loud static) were developed, techniques taught internationally by British forces. This is in addition to a litany of failed investigations and apparent coverups surrounding many other instances of torture in the UK, both in recent years and historically, this is part of a truly shocking pattern, and by no means an exception.