Undercover work has been used in a variety of ways throughout the course of history, but the first organized, but informal, undercover program was first employed in France by Eugène François Vidocq in the early 19th century.At the end of 1811, Vidocq set up an informal plainclothes unit, the Brigade de la Sûreté ("Security Brigade"), which was later converted to a security police unit under the Prefecture of Police.
The amount of elaborate planning, risk, and expenditure can pressure an agent to succeed, which can cause considerable stress.
As the undercover agents are removed from the bureaucracy, it may result in another problem.
In part due to these concerns, the 1845 official Police Orders required all undercover operations to be specifically authorized by the superintendent.
It was only in 1869 that Police commissioner Edmund Henderson established a formal plainclothes detective division.
In addition, there were eight people who worked secretly for the Sûreté, but instead of a salary, they received licences for gambling halls.
A major portion of Vidocq's subordinates were ex-criminals like himself.The first is the maintenance of identity and the second is the reintegration back into normal duty.Living a double life in a new environment presents many problems.The Sûreté initially had eight, then twelve, and, in 1823, twenty employees.One year later, it expanded again, to 28 secret agents.There can be some guilt associated with going undercover due to betraying those who have come to trust the officer.