28 Apr 2012

New restrictions on US Secret Service agents

6:52 pm on 28 April 2012

The American secret service is issuing a new code of conduct for its agents after some of them consorted with prostitutes in Colombia two weeks ago, ahead of a visit by the US President Barack Obama.

The new guidelines ban agents from visiting non-reputable establishments or taking foreigners to their hotel rooms.

The BBC reports that staff on overseas missions will be thoroughly briefed on where they can and cannot go and will be banned from drinking excessively, even when off-duty.

While secret service agents usually blend into the background recent events have put them in sharp focus.

The embarrassment in Colombia has been followed by a report that agents visited strip bars and paid for sex while working in El Salvador.

The agency is investigating but has found nothing credible so far.

The concern in Washington is that more stories of misbehaviour will emerge.