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What Is The Necessity For Undercover Policing?


Introduction

The Undercover police attract a high following in action films and yet this is a real life job with real consequences. Without undercover policing there would be many criminals who whose crimes would go unpunished and in some cases even unknown. Under cover policing does not only follow the high profile cases bringing a big criminal to justice, but also is needed in order to find smaller criminals such as shop keepers selling alcohol or tobacco to those who are underage.


Types Of Undercover Work

The work on the undercover policeman can vary from one day to the next. One day they may be working to get closer to an underground criminal boss. Another may see them act as a teenager walking into a shop to buy a packet of cigarettes. Each job may be different but each is needed in order to get close to the criminal world and bring the criminals to justice. Typical jobs that an undercover policeman may take include:

  • Driver for crime ring

  • Posing as child on internet to catch a paedophile

  • Posing as a drug user to get close to drug dealers

Any crime that cannot be uncovered by detective work alone is a crime that could be considered for undercover work.


Risks For Undercover Work

There are many risks for the police officer who works undercover. The most common risks associated with this level of work includes:

  • Being recognised

  • Being placed in life or death situations

  • Being away from family and friends for long periods of time

  • Psychological strain due to difficult situations

Any potential job has unseen dangers and risks that are associated and psychological damage has to be one of the most important risks that any undercover police officer has to face. This is due to the nature of the job but also being close to some of the most dangerous people in the world.


Conclusion

There are many risks to undercover policing however each police officer undergoes major psychological therapy before and after any undercover job. In addition to this, the risks are not hidden but are known to the officer. Many officers use their real first names in order to prevent them from being found out. It would only be too easy for them to bump into someone who is known to them on the street and being called by the wrong name could cause their cover to be blown.

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