People are a very valuable source of information in the fight against crime, so it is important that law enforcement agencies update and strengthen their training to obtain this information.
Organised crime has become a growing and complex challenge in our society. We are facing increasingly sophisticated and adaptive enemies. Faced with this reality, we must explore all available options to counter their tactics.
Human sources are an invaluable source of information, providing a unique and contextualised insight into the intricacies of criminal networks. This intelligence tool allows for direct and accurate information on criminal activities, suspects and potential threats. They can provide details that would not be available through other sources, such as observation or data collection.
The need to use human sources in the fight against organised crime is more evident than ever, but their use also presents challenges. It is essential that the handling of human sources includes ethical aspects and respect for human rights. Police officers must be trained to interact with human sources in an ethical manner, avoiding abusive practices or violations of fundamental rights.
For one week, in the framework of the EU-funded project on the fight against drugs and organised crime, a workshop on “capturing and handling human sources” was held in the city of Arequipa, Peru.
The activity was aimed at members of the Peruvian National Police from the different directorates that make up the National Directorate of Criminal Investigation involved in the fight against drug trafficking and organised crime.
The workshop focused on how to collect, analyse and use the information obtained, as issues such as assessing the credibility of the information must be taken into account. They also worked on the techniques to be used to conduct interviews and obtain information, emphasising communication skills, active listening, asking the right questions, managing difficult situations, etc. In addition, they discussed the importance of acting in accordance with ethical and legal principles when working with human sources. On the other hand, police officers must be aware of the potential risks that exist for the people who provide them with information and must take into account the protection of the same, so they have also received guidelines on how to ensure the confidentiality of sources to minimise risks and provide adequate protection in situations of threat or retaliation.
The workshop was conducted by European specialists from the Spanish Guardia Civil and a French police specialist from CIVIPOL and was divided into two parts, a theoretical part and a practical part, including a role-playing exercise with the intervention of extras.