Covert Surveillance and the Acquisition of Communications Data

This Council is committed to working for the overall good of the people of Worcestershire, which will include carrying out appropriate investigations into allegations or concerns. Very occasionally, this will require us to gather information in respect of individuals who may be unaware of what we are doing (eg. for suspected offences) through covert surveillance or the acquisition of communications data. In doing so, we want to draw a fair balance between the public interest and the rights of individuals.

In order to achieve that balance, the Council wishes to take into account and comply with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Legislation.gov.uk opens in a new window) (RIPA) and the Human Rights Act 1998 (Legislation.gov.uk opens in a new window). This Procedure sets out the Council's approach to covert surveillance and the acquisition of communications data issues falling within the framework of RIPA in order to ensure consistency, balance and fairness. This approach will provide additional protection and safeguards where these covert activities are likely to cause us to obtain what is called "private information" about individuals or where we go 'undercover' in certain circumstances. This Procedure also makes it clear to the public what checks and balances will apply.

RIPA Policy Manual

Documents (opens in a new window)

Useful links

Application Forms (GOV.UK website, opens in a new window)

Interception of Communications: Code of Practice 2016 (GOV.UK  website, opens in a new window)

Codes of Practice for the Acquisition, Disclosure and Retention of Communications Data 2015 (GOV.UK website, opens in a new window)

Covert Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources Codes of Practice 2018 (GOV.UK website, opens in a new window)

Code of Practice for Investigation of Protected Electronic Information 2018 (GOV.UK website, opens in a new window)

Equipment Interference: Code of Practice 2016 (GOV.UK website, opens in a new window)

Home Office Guidance on the Judicial Approval Process for RIPA Oct 2012 (GOV.UK  website, opens in a new window)

Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office (IPCO website, opens in a new window)