Police annually use dozens of undercover cops, despite criticism: report

Every year the police use undercover police officers in dozens of investigations, despite criticism from lawyers and experts. Between 2014 and 2016 undercover cops were used a total of 189 times, newspaper AD reports based on figures requested from the police.

According to the newspaper, the undercover cop use between 2014 and 2016 was similar to the years before. Undercover cops are used in investigations into serious crimes like murder, drug trafficking, and arms trafficking, but also for less serious crimes like corruption, fraud and money laundering. The costs of these operations amounted to over 2.5 million euros, AD writes.

While undercover operations may lead to successes, the work of an undercover officer is very hard to verify, lawyer Benedicte Ficq said to the newspaper. "They go out all day and at the end of the day, sometimes even later, they describe what was said and what happened. But people are not cassette recorders."

Legal psychologists Peter van Koppen and Timothy Moore agree. They call for sound recordings to be made of undercover operations. Moore, a professor from Canada, is surprised that this is not already being done in the Netherlands. 

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