Lords puzzled as Home Office seeks more leeway in using child informants against gangs, terrorists

Latest news

    British law enforcement wants more leeway over how they are allowed to deploy underage sources during an investigation. A House of Lords committee believes that children’s well-being may be at risk.

    The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000 defines how British police can use covert human intelligence sources, or CHIS, during an investigation. A CHIS may be younger than 18, but in that case, special restrictions apply. For example, a kid under 16 may not be deployed to investigate his parents or guardians. Also, an authorization for the deployment of a juvenile informant may only last a month rather than 12 months for an adult.

    The Home Office believes one month is too short and is seeking to extend the period to four months. The suggested amendment was laid before the House of Lords’ Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, which is chaired by Lord Trefgarne, a former Tory government minister, and they believe the ministry’s justification for the change is skewed. Their concerns were outlined in a report published on Thursday.

    The Home Office says the current one-month limit pushes both the children and their handlers to provide quick results, either to wrap up the deployment or justify its extension.

    “This is difficult to manage for the law enforcement agency, but also has an unintended consequence of requiring them to try and complete the tasking quickly in order to avoid the need for renewal, or in order to demonstrate the value of the deployment if renewal is likely to be required,” it wrote to the committee.

    Read more

    Chicken hearts, voodoo & forced prostitution: Sex trafficker convicted in ‘horrendous’ case

    The lawmakers, however, are unconvinced. The lack of particulars on how the law enforcement plan to ensure the wellbeing of their child assets and its failure to involve organizations tasked with safeguarding children in consolations about the amendment made an impression that the proposed change is motivated by “administrative convenience.”

    The committee was also surprised by correspondence with Home Office Minister Ben Wallace, who failed to provide statistics for juvenile CHIS deployments by law enforcement and cited investigations of terrorist groups, drug gangs and child sex offenders as potential targets of such deployment.

    “These are serious, violent crimes and we have grave concerns about any child being exposed to such an environment. He was unable however to give any information on the number of juveniles so authorized, a fact we find surprising given the ongoing review he mentions,” the report said.

    The examples given by the minister are a far cry from those mentioned in the CHIS Code of Practice published by the Home Office in 2000. It mentions a juvenile source used to buy alcohol from a shop as a possible scenario.

    Commenting on the report for The Guardian newspaper, Baroness Jenny Jones of the Green party said she was “shocked” to learn that children were used as informants at all. She said she and colleagues were planning to bring the situation to the attention of other Lords and “make it harder for the government to wave it through.”

    View the original article: https://www.rt.com/uk/433745-child-informants-uk-debate/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

    Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

    In the same category are

    ‘Where’s the evidence?’ Chicago community shocked after teen kills himself while running from police A Chicago community is in disbelief after a 16-year-old African-American teen reportedly shot himself while running from officers after they tried to ...
    Harvey Weinstein accuser had sex with 17-year-old, paid him $380k hush money – report Asia Argento, an Italian actress and director at the forefront of the #MeToo campaign that brought down producer Harvey Weinstein over sexual assault,...
    Sacha Baron Cohen tricks food critic into praising ‘butter soft human flesh’ In a new episode of his ridicule-ridden show 'Who is America?' notorious comedian Sacha Baron Cohen pokes fun at pretentious haute cuisine aficionados...
    US Embassy in Turkey attacked by gunman in passing car – reports An unknown gunman fired several shots at the US Embassy in the Turkish capital, Ankara from a passing car, smashing a window. Police are looking for t...
    Barcelona police shoot man with a knife who tried to attack them A knife-wielding man reportedly shouting “Allahu Akbar” has been shot dead after he attempted to attack a police station in Barcelona. Catalonian poli...
    Stunning drone footage shows Fireworks Festival lighting up Moscow skies The festival brought the best fireworks teams from all over the world to show off their stunning skills and light up the skies of Russia’s capital. Th...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.