1st of November 2012 will see big changes in the way local authorities carry out surveillance under Regulation fo Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA):
1. Magistrates’ Approval for all Surveillance
Sections 37 and 38 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 amends RIPA so as to require local authorities to obtain the approval of a Magistrate for the use of any one of the three covert investigatory techniques available to them under RIPA; namely Directed Surveillance, the deployment of a Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS) and accessing communications data. Click on the links below for more
2. New Serious Crime Test for Directed Surveillance
From 1st November 2012, local authority Authorising Officers may not authorise Directed Surveillance unless it is for the purpose of preventing or detecting a criminal offence which punishable by a maximum term of at least 6 months of imprisonment (subject to exceptions).
Will councils still be able to do surveillance for “minor offences”?