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Title: The use of juvenile covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) in England : an exploratory study
Author: Chappell, Brian
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 1994
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2015
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The research critically examined the use of juvenile Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) in the context of the intelligence-led policing model, the Coalition Government’s crime control agenda (in which the only test set for the police is to cut crime), and child safeguarding orthodoxy. It represents the first examination of the use of juvenile CHIS since the introduction of the enabling legislation, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). The researcher was given privileged access to police practitioners and other professionals, from whom the primary data was collected. Secondary data included a wide variety of internal documents and reports relating to the use of juvenile CHIS by an urban police force in England. The data were analysed thematically against the background of the relevant scholarly literature. The research found that even though the use of juvenile CHIS is limited, their use presents significant issues for the police, but currently fewer for other professionals who largely are ignorant of policing activity in this context. The research established that the use of juvenile CHIS was subject to the strictest controls through the authorisation systems and procedures, mandated by RIPA, which were in place and strictly adhered to, with the welfare of the CHIS and safeguarding issues beyond their deployment/authorisation given the highest priority. Indeed, the data collected for this study demonstrated an absence of negative life outcomes for those whose use had been authorised. However, the research highlighted a continuing institutional nervousness around the use of juvenile CHIS, which inter alia suggests an aversion to the risks associated with their use that might not always be justified, notwithstanding a lack of engagement with professionals who, in many cases, may be able to assist in informing the risk assessment and the duty of care provisions required under statute for juveniles used by the police in this way. The study also illustrated the challenges that the police face in properly assessing risks (particularly the competence of officers to assess the psychological and moral risks that are always associated with the use of CHIS). The research contains a number of recommendations for policing and for wider public policy. Critically, it argues for further research in this important area.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Prof.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Criminology