Somerset Gazette report:

FORMER criminals working undercover for police officers across Somerset are being paid tens of thousands of pounds to help trace the most-wanted offenders.

Police informants have netted nearly £350,000 from Avon and Somerset Constabulary over the last five years in return for intelligence used to land criminals at large.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act last week revealed the force made regular yearly payments to the informers ranging from £53,000 to £81,000.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.