Surveillance powers

Councils can undertake covert surveillance to detect or stop a criminal offence. This is rare and only used in certain situations.

For more information, please see our Covert investigative technique policy

Our powers are set out in the following legislation:

We have regular inspections to make sure that we are following legislation. This ensures:

  • Our activities are lawful
  • We do not compromise the rights of anyone we investigate

Our authorised officers approve each case of covert surveillance under RIPA. We carry out strict tests before approval can be given for any activity.

Local authorities must then seek judicial approval before using RIPA covert techniques.

We also receive approval for Communications Data under the IPA before making an application via the National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN).

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