Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) sets out the ways in which the council can lawfully carry out investigations when we want to use surveillance techniques.

There are 3 types of surveillance techniques available to local authorities:

  • The acquisition and disclosure of communications data (such as telephone billing information or subscriber details);
  • Directed surveillance (covert surveillance of individuals in public places); and
  • Covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) (such as the deployment of undercover officers)

Local authorities may use covert techniques where they are responsible for enforcing the law. 

In addition, since the Protection of Freedom Act 2012 came into force, all local authorities must get approval from a magistrate before they undertake any form of covert surveillance.

The policy below sets out how the Council complies with the rules on gathering covert information for investigations that it is allowed or required to carry out.