§ Mr. Giles Shaw
Metropolitan police general orders reflect guidance given in paragraph 1.92 of the Home Office "Consolidated Circular on Crime and Kindred Matters" that no police officer should counsel, incite or procure the commission of a crime. A copy of the consolidated circular is in the Library of the House. However, as my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State has explained to the House, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has recently issued a further police order to give this principle greater prominence in the context of orders covering the deployment of uniformed branch officers on plain clothes observation duties. The new order provides that officers selected for these duties must be briefed by a senior officer to ensure that they avoid behaviour which they could give rise to legimitate accusations that they had acted as agents provocateurs, and explains that the term agent provocateur was defined by the Royal Commission on police powers in 1928 as a person who entices another to commmit an express breach of the law which he would not otherwise have committed and then proceeds or informs against him in respect of such an offence. Metropolitan police general orders are not published.