British police and intelligence agencies are using children as spies in covert operations against terrorists, gangs and drug dealers, a new UK parliamentary report has revealed.
Some of the minors tasked with gathering intelligence are under 16, the report published last week by a House of Lords review committee said.
The report found that some of the child spies are aged under 16 and warned about the UK government’s plan to give law enforcement bodies even more freedom over their use of children.
“We are concerned that enabling a young person to participate in covert activity associated with serious crime for an extended period of time may increase the risks to their mental and physical welfare,” said the committee, chaired by David Trefgarne, the second longest serving member in the UK Parliament’s upper house.
Home Office correspondence with the committee, published in the report, suggests children are not only used to furnish the…