England is in an uproar after it was revealed that British undercover cop Mark Kennedy and two colleagues slept with members of the environmental activist groups they were supposed to be monitoring. Turns out that's a sanctioned tactic!
From the Guardian:
Undercover police officers routinely adopted a tactic of "promiscuity" with the blessing of senior commanders, according to a former agent who worked in a secretive unit of the Metropolitan police for four years.
The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for both men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups.
Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence.
Hard to tell if this makes British undercover police more or less effective than their American counterparts. On the one hand, you're going to probably attract more quality applicants if they know sexy undercover anarchist sex is part of the bargain. On the other hand, it's sort of like the criminal justice equivalent of that dumb Friends with Benefits movie: Can two people have sex and still remain in an untarnished undercover cop-anarchist relationship?