The Pros And Cons Of Undercover Police Investigation

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When investigating the potential harms associated with undercover police investigations, it is important to establish the fundamental aspects of harm that are prominent when exploring this issue. These include attributes of psychological, physical and potential societal harms when looking at the greater public. In particular, undercover investigations attribute to fundamental harms caused to the investigating undercover officer. The includes the element of risk, which can be associated with harm through the actions an undercover officer take, that could have unpredictable and dangerous consequences. Such actions could potentially involve illegal activities . More often than not, police undercover investigators are put in situations that…show more content…
This resulted in severe ethical issues of those concerned and complex decisions through the criminal justice system that also harmed the way the public perceive the integrity of the police force. Arguably, participating in criminal activity is primarily an aspect undercover investigators have to engage with. However, the reasoning behind this carries greater concern. For example, breaking the law can help to sustain cover and build a credible amount of evidence, but could be the result of pressure put on to investigating officers due to "methods that are expensive, time-consuming, and controversial" (O'Connor, 2011, p.1). As such, Undercover officers breaking the law may only carry these acts forward through the physical fear of losing their lives. "Marx 1988 (cited in Department of Justice, 2015) notes that intimidation, entrapment, and duplicity are fairly common features of such work." This does question the role of the police system as a whole in terms of not providing enough support to those undercover as it is usually the case that "rarely the undercover officer can call on backup, or a partner when a situation goes sour" (Blau, 1994, p.145), indicating that there is a lack of reassurance when making life threatening decisions

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