Police forces pay £25million to informants and nearly half is spent by London’s Met
By Martin Robinson, Daily Mail, 18 June 2013
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.
Police informant Kester David, 53, was found burned to death under railway arches in north London two years ago
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.
Other than the Met, West Midlands Police was the only force who spent in excess of £1million over the five year period. In total 11 forces spent more than £500,000.
Warwickshire Police paid just £63,679.06 over the five years, the least out of all the forces.
Metropolitan Police: £9,098,058.
West Midlands Police: £1,461,311
Greater Manchester Police: £991,681.28
South Yorkshire Police: £893,375
Northumbria Police: £809,416
Thames Valley Police: £764,509
West Yorkshire: £736,684.70
Lancashire Constabulary: £672,678
Nottinghamshire Police: £605,508
Devon and Cornwall Police: £564,352
Last year Greater Manchester Police were fined £120,000 by the Information Commissioner after the details of 1,075 informants on a memory stick was lost.
Police forces are audited on their use of informants and is inspected annually by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners to ensure they’re not breaking the law.
The family of one informant who was found burned to death under a bridge in North London three years ago said that he was murdered, but the Met Police have stated his death was unexplained.
Kester David, 53, from Wood Green, North London, was killed by a criminal gang after acting as a police informant.
A new investigation was ordered last year after it was ruled that there were errors in the original police investigation.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2343764/Police-forces-pay-25million-informants-nearly-half-spent-London-s-Met.html#ixzz3hB15ORwb
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