Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Police sex loophole closed

The legal loophole that allowed British undercover police officers to sleep with their targets, or those close to them, is to be closed under a new code of ethics, according to this story on the BBC website.

This is good news for anyone who found themselves on the wrong side of the sheets during an undercover police operation, through very little fault of their own.  However, it's bad news for me because it was this very loophole that formed the basis of the plot in Necessity's Door.  I felt I could get away with using it because it was such a grey area.  Officers who slid into temptation whilst working undercover could always claim it was aiding their cover.  They weren't, technically, breaking the law.  Which meant that although my hero Jake sailed pretty close to the wind, he never became a criminal. 

That won't be the case any more.  I won't be able to use the idea in any follow-ons, sequels, or future stories, because if this new code comes in, it'll be quite clear that officers who sleep with their targets are in breach of the rules.  Of course, the police are as human as the rest of us, and it's always possible one or two will still bend those rules.  But if they do, they'll no longer have immunity from prosecution.   The change in law will clear up that whole grey area.

Less confusing all round, even if it does take away the fodder for future stories...

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