1. Policy statement
Reasons for introducing the Policy
To explain legal requirements and act as a brief guide to the legislation for Council staff.
The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that the Council complies with the requirements of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (‘RIPA’) and that appropriate authorisations are given for directed surveillance and the use of covert human intelligence sources (‘CHIS’).
RIPA, together with its associated regulatory framework, provides a valuable protection to the Council if directed or covert surveillance is carried out, and may protect the Council from the risks of civil action in the event of a breach of a person’s human rights. In addition, its correct application may ensure that evidence gained by such means will be admitted in evidence more readily in the criminal courts.
The policy sets out the tests which must be applied in deciding whether authorisation is appropriate. RIPA now restricts directed surveillance to serious criminal cases or to tobacco or licensing offences related to children. Authorisations for directed surveillance or covert human intelligence sources are not effective until approved by a Justice of the Peace (Magistrate).
These are set out in the policy at appropriate points in the context of the legislation.
How will we go about it?
The policy has been approved by members, and senior and relevant staff have been trained on its implementation and will be provided with regular refresher training.