In an April 2012 magazine interview, Thurlbeck revealed that he had been recruited as an agent for the National Criminal Intelligence Service in 1995:
- This was the period when I was Chief Crime Reporter for the News of the World. The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) realised I was a fertile source for information concerning serious organised crime and recruited me as agent 251, codename George in 1995.
- NCIS was the interface between the Special Branch, MI5 and all the regional constabularies but with no powers of arrest. They were investigators only. All matters concerning serious organised crime were of major interest to them. Anything concerning terrorism went to MI5.
- R&R Magazine. Full Uncut Interview, nevillethurlbeck.com, 6 April 2012.