The use of informers is a routine part of much criminal investigation work. A whole spectrum of information is used by the police, some respectable, some more controversial. Settleâ€™s book is a scholarly analysis of the informerâ€™s role. Based on extensive Australian field research, including a wide range of interviews, he redefines the stereotype of the gig and their part in the information spectrum.
Focussing around a detailed case study of the investigation into the Walsh Street Murders, he argues that most gigs are recruited by police use of "selective prosecution" rather than by the inducement of money.
The book also raises disturbing issues about police use of prison informers as an alternative to "verballing" and of "public policy privilege" in the courts to conceal sources of information, and about the callousness with which many individual informers are discarded when they have outlived their usefulness to the Crown.
Table of Contents
Cash for information
Institutionalized information flows
Introduction: indemnity for information
Case study: the Walsh Street investigation
Introduction: divide and rule
Internal organization of the prison
Use of prisoners
Introduction: franchised industry
Use by the judiciary
Case study of a supergrass
Summary of findings and discussion
Appendices/ References/ Cases cited / Index