Crucial leads from an informer helped the Delhi Police crack the murder of IT executive Jigeesha Ghosh three years ago, and in turn of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, as the same persons were involved.
The Dhaula Kuan rape case was also solved after an informer came up with inputs on the tempo used by the accused to abduct his victim, a 30-year-old BPO worker.
No wonder then that the force's big budget wish from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is to double their 'secret service fund' -- the money allotted to them to pay their informers, often referred to as mukhbir.
The city police require an allocation of at least Rs. 1 crore, sources said.
"We get around Rs. 40 lakh for our secret service fund, which is given to officers posted at 11 districts and specialised units such as the special cell and crime branch. After the division, an inspector-level officer has only around Rs. 2,000 to pay his informer, which is grossly inadequate," a senior police officer said.
"Who is going to risk his life to provide crucial details related to a criminal for such a petty amount? As most of the informers work purely for money, revision becomes important," said former Delhi Police commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma.
Informers have time and again proved to be the difference between solved and unsolved cases. As one officer put it, "they are our eyes and ears".