4,000 informers authorised

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Over four thousand informers were recruited by law enforcement and statutory bodies across the United Kingdom in 2013/14, it’s been revealed.

David Anderson, QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, in a new report on investigatory powers, states: “4,430 Covert Human Intelligence Services (CHIS) were authorised in 2013/14 by law-enforcement bodies and other public authorities.”

Meanwhile, in another new report the Intelligence Services Commissioner Mark Waller raised concerns about the use of intrusive surveillance - which can involve either informers or listening or observation devices - in Northern Ireland.

He said: “In Northern Ireland I was concerned with the breadth of language used to define the subjects on two urgent warrants, one of which included an intrusive surveillance authorisation. However, after challenging the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) I was reassured that they were keeping a very close eye on the use of the warrants and that the Secretary of State expected to be notified of any use.

“I was satisfied that the urgency of the warrants was necessary and that the correct procedures had been applied but recommended that the renewal submission, which had to take place within two working days, should reflect the limitations being applied by NIO to the use of the warrant.”