Criminal Police performs «informant pay» reform

PHOTO: Margus Ansu

Cutting the chances of policemen pocketing the cash instead of awarding informant, and becoming subjects to blackmail.

The «informant cash» reform, hatched by police for a year, is getting ready. The idea is simple: while currently any criminal policeman may pay an informer under awareness of superiors, in the future few will retain the option.

Figuratively speaking: if up to now a thief in Narva got €10 to €15 as a thank-you for information from a cop after they met; in the future, he’ll rather not get the cash.

Police management is only willing to pay for vital information, but the amounts would be bigger – thus, those bringing precious information ought to be better motivated.

Police’s options to pay collaborators are limited. While in foreign intelligence a suitcase with €100,000 is laid on the table and in counterintelligence €10,000 perhaps – to kick-start a weighty operation –, in Criminal Police some few hundreds are hefty enough.

Larger money might tempt the policeman to keep it, about which fresh examples are at hand. Also, the situation carries the hazard of policemen then becoming subject to blackmail by informants.

Police and Border Guard Board refuses to comment on the new system, citing the classified clause. Postimees has been told payments will be the competence of a special unit.

The example is said to be the UK where police only pays cash for vital information and those who do the paying are trained for the purpose.

To avoid embezzlement or further accusations, another policeman must be present as a witness – when the money changes hands.

To Postimees’ knowledge, the exception will be drug police: for a drug-addict informant, €15 will be motivation enough – he gets his next fix.

Comment

Indrek Tibar, Central Criminal Police head

In the work of Criminal Police, information plays a very important role – it is needed both to solve crimes and to save lives.

We are updating organization of work to be effective and avoid abuses. Applying the changes, we are setting our course after the best practice in the world.

Paying for information is one way of motivating those possessing it, and to get quality facts.  For policemen working with secret collaborators, strict control requirements will apply, and their training will be guaranteed. Risks will be mitigated via precise work procedures and diligent internal monitoring.

I am not able to elaborate on the collection of information and the processing hereof, as doing that I would complicate the work of our staff.

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