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The Impact of COVID-19 on UK informant use and management

Stanier, I and Nunan, J (2021) The Impact of COVID-19 on UK informant use and management. Policing and Society. ISSN 1043-9463

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Abstract

The effect of COVID-19 on informant use and management, during the peak of the imposed Government lockdown measures was felt across English and Welsh police Dedicated Source Units. Within these restrictions, staff managing informants had to develop and then implement new strategies that delivered safe, yet effective, informant handling capacity and capability. Based on a survey of 205 respondents directly involved in the handling, control or authorisation of informants, this article examined their perceptions of the effect of COVID-19 in this highly specialised policing activity. The research findings revealed five broad themes associated with the impact of COVID-19 on informant management practices: (i) health protection; (ii) governance; (iii) innovation and technology; (iv) recruitment, communication and informant development; and (v) tradecraft and intelligence. The article explored the organisational responses to initiating and maintaining informant-handler relationships and ensuring the flow of intelligence within this unique operational environment. Participants perceived that handler-informant relationships were strengthened, and also indications of a willingness to adapt policy and procedure associated with the informant management cycle: targeting, initial recruitment contact, assessment and evaluation, tasking and deployment and payment of informant rewards. It also highlighted a wider consensus that there was further scope for enhancing resilience to similar future pandemics including the use of enabling technology and responsive policy adaptation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1602 Criminology, 1605 Policy and Administration, 1607 Social Work
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
K Law > KD England and Wales
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV7231 Criminal Justice Administrations
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV7231 Criminal Justice Administrations > HV7551 Police. Detectives. Constabulary
Divisions: Justice Studies (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2021 12:26
Last Modified: 13 May 2021 12:30
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/10439463.2021.1896515
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14519

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