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|Met Admits to Hiding Five Million Pound Informants Bill |
- 'Taxpayers have a right to know' say critics of grass cash secrecy
THE METROPOLITAN Police has admitted to deliberately withholding from the public the amount it splashes out on informants.
"The lack of transparency is to a certain extent deliberate. Informants, or as they are now called, Covert Human Intelligence Sources, are covert assets," said Assistant Met Commissioner Steve House.
"It is not good sense to tell too much about any covert assets. We do not give too much detail."
It was only after requests under the Freedom of Information Bill and a painstaking analysis of the Met's accounts that a journalist discovered that the Met has so far spent nearly UKP5 million between 2005 and 2007 on informants.
The Met's claims that they didnít want the amount known for reasons of informant-safety haven't convinced critics.
"Paying informants is a perfectly legitimate way to tackle crime, but taxpayers have a right to know how millions of pounds of their money is being spent," said Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats spokesperson for home affairs.
Jenny Jones, Metropolitan Police Authority member, said: "This is a classic example of information the police could easily have given us."
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