In our latest blog confidential informant expert John Buckley examines prosecution cases that have been lost because of questions surrounding the activities of the confidential informants involved. The questions he raises should be of interest to all involved in this often high risk activity.
As a consultant I am often asked to examine cases after they have gone wrong and try to find out why they have gone wrong. It has become almost second nature for me to look at any case where things have gone wrong and to ask the same sort of questions that I would ask if I was auditing the case. When I look at the case involving the use of confidential informants in Lowell Police are a number of questions that would spring to mind. These include:
- What records were there in place with regard to the management of these confidential informants?
- What training had the officers involved received with regard to managing confidential informants?
- What structures were there in place to process, grade and analyse the information received from these informants?
- Was the processing of the information carried out independently from the officers involved in collecting it?
- Was there a risk assessment prepared in relation to using either or both informants? If so what risks were identified and how were these managed?
- When did officers first suspect the conduct of each confidential informant was not as it should be? What did they do about it? Who did they tell? And where were management in all this?
- How soon was the district attorney notified of suspicions about the confidential informants behaviour?
These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered. In this particular case I don’t know what the answers are. However the question that every officer involved in managing confidential informants should ask, the answer to which every Chief is entitled to know is: ‘Could this happen in my agency?’
John Buckley is an internationally recognized expert on confidential informant management and has written extensively on the subject. If you require further advice relating to prosecution cases involving the use of confidential informants, John can be contacted at email@example.com
abmpegasus is a modular piece of software that helps law enforcement agencies manage information, intelligence and covert operations in accordance with best practice, policy and legislation. Specific sections of the software deal with the management of confidential informants and the on-going review, activity and use of Confidential Informants.
If you would like more information on using software to help manage your confidential informants please contact Dawn Starling at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (+1) 703-326-1366. Alternatively, please complete an ABM Software contact form and a member of our team will get in touch.