skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 220724     Find in a Library
Title: Sting Operations
  Document URL: Text PDF 
  Agency Summary: Agency Summary 
Author(s): Graeme R. Newman
Corporate Author: Ctr for Problem-Oriented Policing (POP)
United States of America
Date Published: 10/2007
Page Count: 72
  Annotation: This guide provides a definition of sting operations, deception techniques and tools, goals of sting operations, sting operations according to crime targeted, benefits of sting operations, and negative features of sting operations, thereby offering law enforcement agencies comprehensive information in the decisionmaking process on whether to initiate a sting operation given the circumstances.
Abstract: Sting operations have been part of the modern police response to crime for over 40 years. For the majority, sting operations contain four basic elements: (1) an opportunity or enticement to commit a crime, either created or exploited by police; (2) a targeted likely offender or group of offenders for a particular crime type; (3) an undercover or hidden police officer or surrogate, or some form of deception; and (4) a “gotcha” climax when the operation ends with arrests. Sting operations can be expensive, are demanding on personnel, and generally offer limited relief from recurring crime and disorder problems. This is not to say that they should never be used. They may be beneficial when used in concert with other police responses known to provide long-term solutions to the problems, such as a tool to collect information that will help in mounting other preventative operations. Clearly, sting operations do provide some attractive benefits to police departments, particularly by facilitating investigation, increasing arrests, and fostering a cooperative spirit between prosecutors and police, all of which result in favorable publicity. However, law enforcement agencies need to assess these benefits against the negative ethical and legal problems associated with sting operations, especially the finding that in some cases they increase crime, and in the long-term, with some exceptions, generally do not reduce it. This guide produced by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services under the Response Guides Series is intended to help law enforcement agencies decide whether a sting operation would be right for the agency. Appendix, notes, and references
Main Term(s): Police-run fencing operations
Index Term(s): Police effectiveness ; Undercover activity ; Specialized police operations ; Problem-Oriented Policing
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Grant Number: 2005CKWXK001
Publication Number: ISBN: 1-932582-84-3
Sale Source: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
US Dept of Justice
Two Constitutional Square
145 N Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20530
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Downloaded on February 4, 2008. From Problem-Oriented Guides for Police, Response Guides Series, No. 6
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.