Wiltshire Police Force paid informers £40,000 last year a Freedom of Information request has revealed. 

In total during the last seven years £244,935 was paid by the force to informants.

The Swindon Advertiser reports:

Data released under the Freedom of Information Act shows the force has paid covert human intelligence sources, known as CHIS, a total of £244,935 in the last seven financial years, ranging from £18,386.90 in 2005/6 to £45,874.25 in 2008/9 and £40,883.42 last year.

Wiltshire Police say they are value for money and have proven highly effective in protecting the public.

 But despite the cost to the public purse, the force has refused to reveal anything more for fear of identifying the assets, including how many are on its books, the range an informant can be paid, or what sort of people they are, for example, whether they include turned gang members or private investigators.

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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.