In recent months a debate has raged across the poiice service as to whether juvenile test purchasers are covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) within the meaning of s.26(8) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RlPA). It is well-known that the police and other law enforcement agencies (customs & excise, trading standards etc) have, in the past, employed juveniles to target shops and other traders who are accused of selling restricted goods to those underage (e.g. cigarettes, fireworks, alcohol). The purpose of this paper is to assess whether juveniles are CHIS's and what, if any, the implications of their use following the 1998 Act is
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