“Police officers frequently engage in deceptive conduct to perform their duties. Officers perform secretly in undercover operations seeking to gain evidence on the
targets of their investigations. While undercover, they may lie about their identity, their past acts, or their plans of criminal activity. Police officers use unmarked cars
and some police agencies have even created fake silhouettes of police cars to deceive motorists into decreasing their speed…But perhaps most interesting, and ethically difficult, is that officers routinely lie to those suspected of committing crimes during interrogations in an attempt to elicit the truth. These acts of manipulation and deception are not only taught and encouraged but also they are lawful and permitted by the courts”. (Alpert & Noble, 2009, p. 242, Lies, True Lies and Conscious Deception)
The above passage is from an article in Module 2. Read the article and respond to the following questions.
1. Should officers be permitted to deceive the public in order to gather evidence of criminal activity such as posing as a drug user and buying drugs or posing as a prostitute? Isn’t this entrapment? Explain.
2. Is it ethical for officers to lie during an interrogation to attempt to elicit the truth? Could this create any problems or issues? What lies are acceptable? What would not be acceptable? Does this still hold true today?
3. Does this affect the trust between the police and the public? How?
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