Informer sues police chief for pounds 30,000

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A police chief is facing a pounds 30,000 writ from an informant who claims he has not been paid for tip-offs. John Hoddinott, Hampshire's Chief Constable, is said to owe money to the criminal for information he supplied after infiltrating gangs at the request of police.

The case was first brought before Portsmouth County Court in 1992, but was passed on to the High Court where it was rejected. It is now on the list for the Court of Appeal and the informant is receiving legal aid.

He says other forces have already paid him thousands of pounds for his help in convicting murderers, drug dealers and robbers. He claims that he has helped police recover property worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. The informant, who lives at a secret address in Portsmouth, said he had decided to speak out after hearing that Hampshire Police were planning to expand their intelligence network.

He said: "It's no good the police saying they are keen to develop the use of registered informants if they then don't pay up. I have infiltrated gangs all over the country and got good results for the police. I see myself as a self-employed police officer rather than an informant."

A spokesman for Hampshire Police confirmed that the man had made a civil claim against Mr Hoddinott for pounds 30,650, which he said "was thrown out of court about a month ago, but we understand he has been given leave to appeal".