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Confidential Informants and Crime

The use of confidential informants for combatting crime is a controversial measure that has pros and cons. Such procedures conducted by the police can be effective in terms of crime control. It allows destroying organized crime syndicates, drug trafficking cartels, or terrorist gangs, which otherwise would not be adequately addressed through the corresponding legislation (Brocklin, 2018). However, this method implies the need for greater care for such informants and the consideration of the ethical side of the matter (Brocklin, 2018). When these principles are not followed, they create a threat to the participants, which is more significant than in the case of ordinary witnesses.

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In the view of the foregoing, any communication between criminals and confidential informants increases the risks for the latter. In the case of entrapment, which is a direct interaction in a criminal environment, they double since crime gangs can expose undercover agents, and it might lead to unfortunate consequences for them. The stories of Andrew Sadek and Rachel Hoffmann prove the risks of these actions (Brocklin, 2018). Nevertheless, even such a drastic measure can be used as a defense strategy when a government official is a criminal (Brocklin, 2018). Hence, this method can help to combat complex crimes, which are otherwise unsolved.

Using confidential informants implies entrapment as people are forced to act in such a way, which is not typical for them. The disclosure of any criminal information, either in the conditions of direct interactions with gangs or without it, poses a threat (Brocklin, 2018). The informants usually have no choice since their help does not come of their own free will. Hence, their use by the government can be considered as entrapment.


Brocklin, V.V. (2018). Using confidential informants? Prepare to be scrutinized and regulated. Police One. Web.

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