The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, or ‘RIPA’ as it is more commonly referred to, regulates the use of covert surveillance by public bodies. The Council takes its obligations and powers under RIPA seriously.
The three covert surveillance techniques available to local authorities are:
• Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) (undercover officers);
• Communications Data (information relating to the use of postal or telecommunications services);
• Directed Surveillance (covert surveillance in a public setting).
Eastleigh Borough Council may only use covert techniques for the prevention and detection of a criminal offence which would be punishable by a minimum term of imprisonment of 6 months.
All staff, including senior officers who provisionally authorise the use of covert surveillance, are fully trained and understand the provisions of RIPA and its appropriate use. All provisional authorisations must be approved by the Magistrates’ Court prior to the commencement of covert surveillance.
For more information, please see the Council’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Policy.
If you have any queries regarding the Council’s use of RIPA, please contact the Monitoring Officer. Alternatively, visit the Home Office website for further information.