The Guardian view on police and child spies: ends don’t always justify the means

Undercover Spy Hidingsource: The Guardian
published: 20 July 2018

Downing Street tells us that child spies are used very rarely by British police and intelligence agencies, and only when it is judged really vital. How reassuring. We would not know they were being used at all were it not for government plans to relax the controls on their use.

The House of Lords committee on secondary legislation has revealed that children are being used in covert operations against terrorists, gangs and drug dealers, and child sexual exploitation (and in doing so, incidentally, demonstrated parliament at its best and most useful, in a week where it has often looked at its worst).

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Custody visits by members of the public failing to hold police to account

Woman in a cellsource: The Conversation
published: 30 April 2018

Custody in police stations is a very locked-down affair. People who have been arrested and are detained spend most of the time isolated in their cells. Custody visitors, the only outsiders who get to see the detainees, are neither respected by the police nor trusted by the detainees.

“My recent research has revealed serious problems in the system of monitoring police custody, now known as the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme. This scheme, run locally by Police and Crime Commissioners, enables members of the public to make random, unannounced visits to check on the welfare of the detainees in police custody” [says author, John Kendall].

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Police officers face punishment after IPCC’s report into Ellis Downes investigation

Police Lantern UK

source: Oxford Mail
published: 5 September 2017

Police were ‘unprofessional’ in the aftermath of teenager Ellis Downes’ tragic death, an investigation has found.

Three police officers at Thames Valley Police will face misconduct ‘meetings’ after the Independent Police Complaints Commission released its report this morning.

Harwell 16-year-old Ellis drowned in the River Thames in Culham on May 7, 2016, after getting into trouble while swimming.

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