Can an agent ever really recover from the lies they’ve told, the promises they’ve broken, the friends they’ve betrayed? Even if they’re doing it in the name of the law? What happens to these broken soldiers? “We are the guilty secret of the New Zealand Police.” (Ex agent). “Every experience changes you. It’s ridiculous to expect that something as extreme as undercover work wouldn’t.” (Ex agent).
Undercover: A New Era? – the final of the Gibson Group’s compelling three-part documentary series – asks whether the changes made to the Police Undercover Programme in the 1990s have helped create a more effective crime-fighting machine. Despite the controversies, the lawsuits and the bad press, the Undercover Programme continues to generate hundreds of convictions a year. It has moved with the times – and in the 90s moved into targeting organised crime syndicates, including lethal motorbike gangs and stolen property rings. Undercover: A New Era? tells the story of recent agents and the changes made to the Programme to protect them. It also explores the latest successes against gangs, drug and stolen property rings.
Finally, in Episode Three, our key agents across all three episodes answer the question of whether the Undercover Programme is necessary in a world where hi-tech surveillance methods make anything possible. Should we still be sending police officers out for long-term deployments in often extremely dangerous conditions? Undercover work is not for the faint-hearted – but is it for anyone? “I hope it still keeps going and they put all these mongrels away where they need to be.” (Ex agent). “It should be stopped. Decent people don’t do things like that. It’s not work for decent human beings.” (Ex agent).