Police informants

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter considers the circumstances in which a state can use private informants in criminal investigations. Informants raise concerns of abuse and lack of accountability similar to those posed by PMSCs, it is argued that the unique nature of informants as criminal insiders (that is, members of a criminal enterprise) makes delegation to them of investigative functions particularly troubling. Criminal insiders recruited as informants often remain in place in their targeted organizations and continue to participate in crimes in order to provide investigators with information about the organization's activities. In doing so, informants may purchase and sell contraband undercover, or participate in other offences with their criminal associates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrivate Security, Public Order
Subtitle of host publicationThe Outsourcing of Public Services and Its Limits
EditorsSimon Chesterman, Angelina Fisher
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNew York University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780191721816
ISBN (Print)9780199574124
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010


  • Accountability
  • Criminal law
  • Delegation
  • Police informants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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