Informants strike jackpot with Devon and Cornwall Police

Devon and Cornwall Police have paid more than £300,000 to informants in the last three years.

The sensitive figures were released by the force following a request under the Freedom of Information Act. It showed that the force spent £125,042 in 2007/08 "on the obtaining of information to combat crime".

Devon and Cornwall Police also laid out £102,168 in 2006/7 and £108,799 in 2005/6 on informants – now known as covert human intelligence sources (CHIS).

The figures do not include payments which have been made by other agencies, including the security services.

Details about the number of informants who were paid, and the sums they have received, including the maximum and minimum amounts, have been withheld.

The Freedom of Information Act request, which was made to a number of forces, was originally refused. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) also opposed the move when an appeal was lodged with the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner ordered release of the information.

Police pay informants £300,000 in three years (, 6 April 2009)