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 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 the RIPA Monitoring Officer or alternatively, visit the Home Office website

You can read the council's RIPA policy below:

PDF document RIPA Policy - 1 July 2023(PDF) [269 kb]

Use of RIPA

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

Contact details

Data Protection Officer

Telephone: 01256 845663

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