Thursday, August 07, 2014

Correlated contents

Yesterday, Andrew Geddis had an interesting article about the Canadian police's "Mr Big" tactic (which involves establish a prolonged criminal relationship with a suspect and involving them in simulated criminal activity in an effort to eventually coerce a confession), which was recently effectively outlawed by that country's Supreme Court (technically, they ruled that no evidence from it can be presented in court). The most interesting bit was his final comments on its possible use in New Zealand, highlighting the possibility of suppression orders and then saying "And that is all that I may say on the subject". Obvious subtext: the NZ police are using this unfair tactic, but all details have been suppressed by the courts.

Also yesterday: the police refused an OIA request for information on

the use of coercion, psychological persuasion and/or manipulation by undercover officers to entice someone to commit a criminal offence.

as telling us whether the police solicit crime would "prejudice the maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences".

Given the explosive nature of the allegation, and the impact of such activity on public confidence in the police, if they weren't doing it, they would deny it. Therefore, the conclusion we should draw from this is that the police are coercing and manipulating people into committing crimes, which they can then arrest them for.

(This of course assumes that the police are sensible and concerned about our trust in them, rather than reflexively secretive authoritarians who believe we have no right to know or question them. But there are consequences to such fuckwittery, and the destruction of public trust is one of them. If they are in fact not doing this, then all they have to do is issue a statement...)