Table of Contents

NCJ Number

58476

Journal

Law and OrderVolume: 27 Issue: 6 Dated: (JUNE 1979) Pages: 26,28-30,32-34,38-41

Date Published

1979

Length

4 pages

Annotation

A CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT IS A SECRET SOURCE WHO, THROUGH A CONTACT OFFICER, SUPPLIES INFORMATION ON CRIMINAL ACTIVITY TO THE POLICE OR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT.

Abstract

THERE ARE BASICALLY TWO TYPES OF POLICE INVESTIGATION, REACTIVE AND PROACTIVE. IN THE FORMER, A CRIME IS REPORTED TO THE POLICE AND AN INVESTIGATION IS INITIATED; IN THE LATTER, POLICE UNCOVER OR SEEK OUT THE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. EACH IS CONCERNED WITH IDENTIFYING AND ARRESTING THE PERPETRATOR OF A CRIMINAL ACT. IN ORDER TO IDENTIFY AND OBTAIN EVIDENCE AGAINST PERSONS INVOLVED IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, THE POLICE OFTEN USE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS. BOTH TYPES OF INVESTIGATION REQUIRE THE SECURING OF INFORMATION THAT COMES FROM WITHIN A CRIMINAL SUBCULTURE. WITHIN THIS CRIMINAL SUBCULTURE, DEALS ARE MADE, PLANS FOR THE FUTURE AS WELL AS PAST AND PRESENT CRIMES ARE OPENLY DISCUSSED, AND A GENERAL WEALTH OF CRIMINAL INTELLIGENCE IS EXCHANGED. THE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT, THEREFORE, BECOMES THE IDEAL TOOL FOR PENETRATING THEIR CRIMINAL SUBCULTURE. DETECTIVES HAVE THEIR OWN PERSONAL CULTIVATED SOURCES AS WELL AS REGISTERED CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS. INFORMANTS HAVE VARIOUS MOTIVES FOR GIVING INFORMATION TO THE POLICE, AND DETECTIVES MUST DETERMINE THE MOTIVATION IN ORDER TO SOLICIT INFORMATION SUCCESSFULLY. DETECTIVES MUST KEEP IN MIND THAT THEY ARE DEALING WITH PEOPLE WHOSE MOTIVES MAY BE AS DIVERSE AND DEVIOUS AS THE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY THEY WISH TO UNCOVER. THE DETECTIVE-CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT RELATIONSHIP IS TENUOUS AT BEST; THE SECRET LIES IN THE ABILITY OF THE CONTACT OFFICER TO CONTROL THE INFORMANT IN A MANNER WHICH IS NOT ONLY REALISTIC, BUT ALSO LEGALLY ACCEPTABLE. SINCE POLICE INFORMANTS ARE ESSENTIAL TO INVESTIGATION, EXPERTISE MUST BE DEVELOPED IN HANDLING THE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (STB)

Publication Format

Article

Language

English

Country

United States of America

Source: ojp.gov

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