The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000Implications for the Councils
Aspects of work that might merit surveillance
Illegal Money lenders Loan Sharks
Fraud - Housing benefit, sub-letting, internal fraud, student loan audit, council tax, disability.
Food safety issues
Doorstep Crime Anti Social Behaviour Offences
RIPA and local authorities
Regulates the use of covert investigatory powers by Public Authorities
Ensures that those covert activities are compatible with Human Rights
Justifying Local Authority use of covert techniques There are no RIPA powers
RIPA simply provides a framework to govern our use of covert techniques to enforce existing consumer/public protection legislation
RIPA has improved control and oversight of these techniques and local authorities performance is improving
RIPA makes local authorities accountable and open to challenge and that is a good thing
Terrorism laws used to spy on us ??
Watched while walking the dog?
Phone spies: Town halls using anti-terror powers to bug residents' calls and emails
Some councils are allowing middle-ranking staff to authorise covert operations
The whole of Britain has become a Panopticon.
The dog fouling debate
we do not consider dog fouling or littering as matters which meet the test of necessity and proportionalitySir Simon Milton
Dog excrement carries a parasite which can cause blindness in children. On this basis I suspect that a reasonable, well informed, member of the public would approve of covert surveillance necessary to reduce dog fouling in childrens playgrounds ... Sir Christopher Rose
Dog fouling is at the top of residents list in terms of issues they want the council to be tackling on the ground, so I know the public are only too pleased to see us catching people," Jim Corey, Ch Exec, Wyre Council
Who is really watching you?
Let's not get hysterical. There are far graver threats to our liberties than the man from the town hallThe Guardian
RIPA Key messages
RIPA is a complex and difficult piece of legislation.Lord Justice Mummery 2006
Section 27 RIPA key messages
An authorisation issued by an Authorising Officer under the Act will provide the lawful authority for a public authority to carry out surveillance.
Officers can only act in accordance with the terms set out in the authorisation
The Authorising Officer thus performs a quasi judicial role
The Authorising Officer is accountable for his actions if things go wrong
The role of elected members
Provide a point of challenge
Ask for reports
Look for outcomes
Dave Holland, Cardiff Council, email@example.com