Presentation on theme: "4 th International Evidence Based Policing Confere nce “A captive audience.” Recruiting informants within police custody blocks. Richard Cooper."— Presentation transcript:
4 th International Evidence Based Policing Confere nce “A captive audience.” Recruiting informants within police custody blocks. Richard Cooper
Objectives Why do people offer information? The cells as a recruiting ground The longevity of recruitments Are some motivations more sticky than others?
Limitations of previous research Dearth of experimental research in this area. – Most commonly third party interviews – Rarely direct access to informants – Criminals giving their opinions – Examination of records Difficult to establish motivation – Cost, risk, management etc. Much easier to be retrospective
Methodology 14 week period Custody block for medium-sized city Administer questionnaire at point of accepting referral to Source Handling Unit – Motives – Supporting information Examination of police records Observation of process taking place 2 dedicated officers Follow-up of cohort at two points – Initial contact and 4 weeks afterwards
Methodology - Motives Money Reduced Sentence Excitement Guilt Revenge See how police use informants Remove criminal competition Sense of responsibility to others Dislike of a particular crime Other
Methodology – Subsidiary Information Certainty Length of time Treatment in cells Adherence to law Police data – Demographic – Criminal
Findings – Provision of Intelligence Surprising willingness to provide intelligence and accept onward referral Not explicable by naivety or inexperience Significant relationship with acquisitive crime custody event – Desperation / drugs Women potentially more likely to cooperate Situational factors important
Findings - Motivation Multiple motivations Money and the chance of a reduced sentence are the most common Money closely linked to those in custody for acquisitive crimes Revenge, excitement, responsibility to others, and dislike of crime also evident
Findings – Continuing to inform Substantial drop-out rate for prospective informants Varied reasons for failing to continue Acquisitive crime no longer significant Those primarily motivated by money less likely to respond to initial follow-up – Not affected by financial predicament
Findings – Continuing to inform Those with a motivation not born of self- interest may be more likely to persist Co-existence between dislike of a certain crime and sense of responsibility – More certain of the decision – Prepared to do so for longer – More embedded than transitory Dislike of drugs features prominently – Links to our informant population?
Conclusions Debriefing in the cells should be seen as an end in itself – High drop-out rate – Acquisitive crime – Women Understanding of the range of motivations is largely accurate Self-interest does not appear to be sufficient – Those not motivated by self-interest may be the most ‘sticky’