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Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) was introduced in 2000 to give public authorities a legal framework to follow if they are carrying out surveillance.

Local authorities have always been able to carry out surveillance - RIPA now regulates that use and provides the council with protection against any breach of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

Local authorities are only allowed to carry out covert surveillance under RIPA for preventing or detecting a criminal offence which would be punishable by a prison sentence of at least six months. Currently under RIPA we can only carry out directed covert surveillance.

Before using RIPA we need to show a valid reason for its use and consideration will be given to the use of less intrusive methods first. We also have to obtain Magistrate's approval before any surveillance is carried out.

If you have any queries regarding the council's use of RIPA, contact the RIPA Co-ordinator or alternatively, visit the Home Office website.

You can read the council's RIPA policy below:

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Policy 2022 (PDF) [729KB]