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Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIPA) Policy

RIPA is the legislation that governs how public bodies can undertake covert surveillance in the detection and prevention of crime

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 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 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 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 and only the Council's Authorising Officers as designated in the RIPA policy can authorise the making of an application to the Magistrates Court.

If you have any queries regarding the council's use of RIPA, contact our RIPA Coordinator, Amy Brown, or visit the Home Office website.

Use of RIPA

The council's Audit and Risk Management Committee receives regular reports on our use of RIPA.

RIPA Coordinator Contact Details

Email: amybrown@fenland.gov.uk

Telephone: 01354 654321

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