Regulation of Investigator Powers Act (RIPA) Policy

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) controls and regulates surveillance and other means of information gathering which public bodies employ in the discharge of their functions.

RIPA was enacted to provide a lawful procedure for public bodies to carry out covert investigations without the risk of a claim being made under the Human Rights Act 1998, against either that body or the Investigating Officer, by the person subject to such an investigation.

The provisions of RIPA are designed to regulate any act of covert investigation or surveillance carried out by a local authority.

The act:

  • requires prior authorisation of directed surveillance
  • prohibits the council from carrying out intrusive surveillance
  • requires prior authorisation of the conduct and use of a Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS)
  • requires safeguards for the conduct and use of a CHIS
     

Policy

Uttlesford District Council has a Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) Policy (PDF) [299KB] that sets out our approach to ensure that:

  • council investigations are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and guidance issued by the various statutory agencies, specifically the Home Office Code of Practice for Covert Surveillance and Property Interference
  • the council can justify the need for covert investigation techniques, which by their very nature may otherwise be in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998, and that appropriate controls are in place to ensure that the activities are properly controlled and monitored