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Value for Money? British Police forces pay £25million to ‘informants’ but where does it end?

21st Century Wire says…

Now this recent story raises some interesting questions…

Granted, snitches on the street are traditionally an important part of the crime busting business, and some covert informants are brave, and important assets in the fight to close down crack house, and curb vice on neighborhood streets, and also to catch murderers.

But the sums are mounting and it appears that this budget is not altogether transparent – begging the obvious question: are all ‘informants’ really actual informants, or are they criminals being paid off through this highly opaque police fund? Is any of it hush money to keep criminals from ratting out corrupt police? We’re not talking about a few thousand here and there, we’re talking about millions so it’s a fair cop to ask any and all questions here.

One might also ask, if any of this 25 million is being paid to paedophile-related informants? If so, why? 

And what is the cost benefit analysis in terms of money spent on certain sectors and crime categories in specific regions and the crime reduction and/or apprehension rates in those same places?

The informant payroll system is not exclusive to the UK, but it has been shown in many cases throughout history to allow criminals to remain on the street and act with impunity, all while being paid by the state – in exchange for regular information. In some cases it’s been a way for criminals to use the police to eliminate their criminal rivals, and police have also, at times, gone into business with their ‘informants’ – providing a perfect cover for everyone involved.

We’re not saying that’s always the case, but it does happen – and maybe it’s a good idea to review budgets and current policies.

Yet another reason to kill the black market drugs trade which is enriching criminal on both sides of the thin blue line…

Martin Robinson
Mail Online

Informants have been paid more than £25million for snitching to police in the past five years.

Despite facing massive cuts and thousands of jobs being at threat, new figures show the overall spend by forces has only decreased by £1million a year since 2008.

There are also concerns about safety, after Met informant Kester David, 53, was found burned to death two years ago and another force was fined for losing a memory stick containing a list of their informants.

Scotland Yard has spent more than any other force in England and Wales, with its costs over five years topping £9million.

In total £25,268,798.40 has been spent by England and Wales’ 43 police forces, with more than £4million being spent on average each year.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has today defended the practice of paying informants, or Covert Human Intelligence Sources as they are officially known, saying it is ‘vital’ in bringing criminals to justice. 

Commander Richard Martin, ACPO lead for covert human intelligence, said: ‘The use of informants to assist in police investigations is one of many covert methods used to gather intelligence to aid forces in defending and protecting the public. 

‘Each force has a rigorous chain of command in place to ensure proper management of informants and decide appropriate levels of reward. We are looking to protect our neighbourhoods from harm and to ensure that when and where we use sources, we are tackling the serious crimes that damage our communities.’

In responses to Freedom of Information requests, the forces refused to reveal how much was paid to each individual informant as it may lead to their identification.They said where an informant is identified it can endanger them.

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