Yes, U.K. Cops Can Have Sex With Perps

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Sometimes when you're an officer of the law you have to go above and beyond the call of duty, and if that means having sex with someone you're investigating, well, that's OK for U.K. cops. It would appear the police are hip to the technique, covered here before, of using sex to weed out a snitch. In fact, the only time undercover police are permitted to cross the line and get intimate with those they're infiltrating is to avoid being outed, U.K. home minister minister Nick Herbert told The Telegraph Wednesday: Banning officers from having sex, "would provide the group targeted the opportunity to find out whether there was an undercover officer specifically within their group."

What drove Herbert to clarify the rules in Britain was the case of an officer named Mark Kennedy, who infiltrated an environmentalist group: "He had affairs with two of the activists he was monitoring and the trial of six campaigners later collapsed after details of his role, which had initially been kept secret from defense lawyers, were disclosed," the London Evening Standard's Martin Bentham reports. He's not alone, Bentham notes:

Eight women who claim they were duped into long-term relationships of up to nine years with five officers have now started legal action. One of the officers who fathered a child is former Met officer Bob Lambert who infiltrated animal rights and environmental groups in the Eighties.

Now that cops can sleep with perps in order to avoid getting detected, as Kennedy said he did, that would be all in a day's work.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.