East Devon District Council

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Policy Directed surveillance and covert human intelligence sources policy

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5. Activity requiring authorisation

The following types of activity will require authorisation:

  • directed surveillance
  • the conduct and use of covert human intelligence sources

 Directed surveillance is, in essence, any activity undertaken covertly for the purpose of a specific investigation in such a way that is likely to result in obtaining information about a person's private life.

A covert human intelligence source (CHIS) is usually, but not always an inside informant or undercover officer who develops or maintains their relationship with the surveillance target, having the covert purposes of obtaining or accessing information for the investigator.  Under the 2000 Act, a person is a CHIS if:

(a) he establishes or maintains a personal or other relationship with a person for the covert purpose of facilitating the doing of anything falling within paragraph b) or c);

(b) he covertly uses such a relationship to obtain information or to provide access to any information to another person; or

(c) he covertly discloses information obtained by the use of such a relationship or as a consequence of the existence of such a relationship