The Witness Security program was developed in 1971 and operated under the US marshal service which was designed to relocate the government informants. In March 2006- a walking billboard- t-shirts with the traffic message Ã¢â‚¬Å“Stop SnitchingÃ¢â‚¬Â could be seen all over. The slogan “stop snitching” appeared in Baltimore in 2004 as the title of an underground DVD threatening gun-wielding drug dealers. The Stop Snitching Movement concerns officials who are furious about witness reluctance and witness intimidation (Woldoff et al., 2010). The state and the local government devote themselves to witness protection and informant management. This movement has created problems for law enforcement across the country since some cases cannot be investigated without informants.
According to the criminal justice act, an informant is any person who gives legislative information about a firm, organization, or person to law enforcement (Charles, 2013). Informants are categorized into average citizens, fellow law enforcers, mentally ill persons, and criminals. Unfortunately, dealing with informants can sometimes be challenging and cumbersome hence resulting in problems. For instance, informants may give false information and this may result in an unlawful act. The informant may get attached to the officer concerned in terms of gender thus may end up doing the investigations based on favor. They may also blackmail the officers to achieve their hidden agenda thus violating rules.
In addition to that, informants can be done away with since their investigations may be rarely accurate and correct. Other forms of investigators can be used to replace the informants. The creation of web pages or profiles that are used by the offenders to get information directly can be a more effective and accurate way than the use of informants. Online sites can also be used to get and explore possible problems and their possible responses thus it becomes more effective and convenient. The internet can also offer persons a chance to explore interests that may be unlawful to them
Woldoff, R. A., & Weiss, K. G. (2010). Stop snitchinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢: Exploring definitions of the snitch and implications for urban Black communities. Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, 17(1), 184-223.
Charles, C. (2013). The Anti-informer and Anti-Snitch Discourses in Dancehall and Rap Songs. Available at SSRN 2372209.
From the case of The Anti-Snitch Movement, it is true that informers have been used as a primary tool for investigation and regarded as a necessary evil. Indeed some people feel that not being an informant is the best thing to do due to the growing animosities between the public and the police. The use of informants has sometimes caused the criminal informants to remain free, and they continue committing crimes while they tell prosecutors what they want even if they are lies. The stop snitching movement is about officials who are already enraged about the reluctance of witness intimidation. Indeed, most communities adopt the attitude of donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t snitch and have even been condoned in various cases. Some witnesses feel the best thing they can do is to talk to the police as informants. However, some people are against the use of informants, and they refer to them as snitches.
Despite the challenges associated with using an informant, I agree with informants’ use because they may help obtain inside information that may assist in building a case that would have needed more months of investigation. Informants help in those doing researches on certain crimes to gain trust in a community (Lyman, 2010). In my opinion, undercover work and other types of offenses require the use of informants to ease the investigation process.
Some alternatives available to investigate when an informant is taken away from the investigative process include the use of undercover operations. Undercover operations involve investigators infiltrating networks of criminals or acting as offenders to uncover criminal activities organized (Lyman, 2010). Another method investigators can adopt is using physical and electronic surveillance when they suspect a person is engaging in criminal activities. Another alternative can be financial analysis to examine a business or personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s income, net worth and expenditures to determine any unexplained income.
Lyman, M. D. (2010). Criminal investigation: The art and the science. Prentice Hall.