The police now have a four-month period before they have to review the deployment of individual child spies. I want to know if this change in the rules by the government will lead to the police using child spies more frequently. As well as putting forward a series of written questions (below), I will ask this question of the Government on 18thMarch:
“Further to the Regret Motion of 16 October 2018, what assessment has Her Majesties Government made of the recruitment, use, deployment, numbers and oversight of children used as spies by the Police?”
The written questions I have tabled are:
- To ask HMG whether the Investigatory Powers Commissioner has established a baseline figure for the use of juveniles as Covert Human Intelligence Sources and if an annual figure will be included in his next annual report.
- To ask HMG whether the use of juveniles as Covert Human Intelligence Sources can be still described as ‘rare’, now that the time period for authorisations has been extended to four months.
- To ask HMG whether the relevant social workers are always involved in any decision regarding the use of juveniles as Covert Human Intelligence Sources, such as drawing up the risk assessment of the physical and psychological welfare of the young person.
- To ask HMG to outline who is responsible for inspecting the police use of juveniles as Covert Human Intelligence Sources, and whether the investigators’ responsibilities cover the wider questions of policy regarding payments, inducements and frequency of use set by those higher up within the police service.
- To ask HMG, what is the current age demographic of juveniles as Covert Human Intelligence Sources, and whether is it anticipated that this will change significantly as the police seek to address the problem of county lines drug gangs.