The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 governs the use
of covert surveillance undertaken by the Council; the Council’s
Policy was in need of an update to reflect legislative
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA/the Act)
provides a statutory mechanism for authorising covert surveillance,
the use of a Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS) and the
acquisition of communications data. RIPA seeks to ensure that
any use of these techniques is necessary and proportionate in
respect of the interference with an individual’s right under
Article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights – the right to respect for the private and family life of
citizens, their home and their correspondence.
The Council is restricted in its use of covert techniques by
the Act and can only apply for RIPA authorisation if the
information sought is needed in order to prevent or detect crime or
In November 2012 the procedure for applying for authorisation
under RIPA was amended; it is now necessary to have any application
for the use of RIPA to be authorised by a Justice of the Peace at
the Magistrates’ Court.
The Council’s existing RIPA Policy has been updated to reflect
this change. The opportunity has also been taken to refresh
Investigatory Powers (RIPA) Policy (copy attached).