Today marks a new feature on ABM’s crime and intelligence blog which will be known as the 10 Things column. Introducing our debut column, ABM’s Managing Director, Iain Moffat, commented: “ABM have always asked professionals in the law enforcement field to tell us what they wanted in our products. Over the years we have incorporated this advice to build a suite of world-class software that meets the changing needs of our clients. As a company, we continue to be expert-led, seeking out best practice wherever we can find it and passing that knowledge back to the law enforcement community we serve. I hope that those reading the column in future months benefit from it.”
Our first 10 Things blog is from one of our regular contributors, John Buckley.
10 things every officer should know about managing confidential informants.
- If you haven’t been trained to do it, don’t do it.
- Make sure you know your agency’s confidential informant policy and stick to it.
- Always document who the confidential informant is and get management approval to meet with them.
- Always tell a supervisor exactly what you are doing with the confidential informant.
- Keep comprehensive records of every contact you have with the confidential informant.
- Never meet the confidential informant on your own.
- Always make sure a colleague witnesses any payment and never use your own money.
- Report accurately what they say, not what you would like them to have said.
- Be careful – they may be a lot smarter than you are.
- Think safety all the time – yours and theirs.
Managing confidential informants is a high risk business. These few simple tips will keep law enforcement officers and their agencies and citizens safer. The lessons advocated here have been gleaned through experience and many of the issues highlighted in our previous blog posts could have been avoided, had these rules been adhered to.