316 M. Maguire and T. John1 Covert and Deceptive Policing in England and Wales: Issues in Regulation and Practice 'The detection of crime as society evolves in this country calls, in our judgement, for in appropriate and carefully subscribed ways an increase in the anonymity granted to police action.' (Lord Justice Watkins in R v. Hewitt and Davis  CA) 1. THE SHIFT TO PROACTIVE INVESTIGATION Traditionally, criminal investigation in England and Wales has been 'reactive' in character. The working pattern of detectives has typically been based around allocated caseloads of re- ported offences, to which are applied routine techniques such as examination of the scene, questioning of witnesses and interviewing of suspects. 'Proactive' approaches - in essence, those in which the focus is less upon past offences than upon the current behaviour of people thought to be involved in crime - have been much less common, adopted routinely only by specialist (and usually centralized) units such as regional crime squads and drugs squads. Consequently, intelligence-gathering techniques such as covert surveillance and the running of informers, although used sporadically, have not played a central part in the work of most detectives.2 Moreover, until recently, even specialist proactive units
European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1996
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