Covert and Deceptive Policing in England and Wales: Issues in Regulation and Practice

Covert and Deceptive Policing in England and Wales: Issues in Regulation and Practice 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 [1992] 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 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Brill

Covert and Deceptive Policing in England and Wales: Issues in Regulation and Practice

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1996 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0928-9569
eISSN
1571-8174
D.O.I.
10.1163/157181796X00177
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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 [1992] 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

Journal

European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal JusticeBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1996

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