Apparently, some people are up in arms because the police asked someone to give them information in return for cold hard cash.
An undercover agent from the protest group ‘Plane Stupid’ – which sounds like a description of it’s members – secretly recorded two conversations with members of Strathclyde Police during which they attempted to get her to turn into a paid informer.
The Grauniad headlines their article “Police caught on tape trying to recruit Plane Stupid protester as spy” which suggests that trying to get informants is something you can be ‘caught’ at, like it’s illegal or wrong or something. I can’t believe people a) think this is somehow astonishing, new or wrong & b) don’t know this has been going on since the police first came into being.
People get paid for giving information to the police, they’re called informants. Sometimes people don’t just pick up the phone & ring Crimestoppers out of some sense of duty, but they will do it for filthy luker.
Maybe the Grauniad & the Plane Stupid member are appalled by the fact that the police could possibly want information on such an august law-abiding body as Plane Crazy, after all, they are a lawful protest group (who just happen to do unlawful things like trespassing on other people’s property, taking over a transportation barge which was moving an aircraft wing, damaging the perimeter fence & breaking into Stanstead Airport causing the shutting down of the airport when they camped on the runway, blocking East Midlands Airport runway, barricading travel agents, handcuffing themselves at Manchester Airport check-in preventing the public & businesses going about their lawful activities, chucking green slime at members of parliament (Mandelson) – actually, I’ll forgive them that – shutting down Aberdeen Airport while they set up a mini golf course). They are quite bullish about it all really. If you visit their website, they list all their illegal activities with pride.
The running of police informants is an established & perfectly legal method of policing & plays a great part in the fight against crime & disorder. There are many rules & regulations on how to run informants. It should not come as any surprise that one of the ways of gaining informants is to ask people.
Plane Stupid said in a statement, “Our civil liberties were invaded and our right to peaceful protest called into question simply to defend the interests of big business.” Like they give a fuck about people’s civil liberties & rights, except their own!