Surveillance powers

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

The above legislation ensures:
- these activities are lawful
- we don’t compromise the rights of anyone we investigate.

We are inspected regularly to make sure that we comply with legislation.

Each case of covert surveillance under RIPA must be approved by ESCC authorised officers. Strict tests are carried out before approval is given for any activity. Local authorities must then seek judicial approval prior to using RIPA covert techniques. Communications Data under IPA must be similarly approved by ESCC officers before an application can be made via the National Anti Fraud Network (NAFN).

Our powers are set out in the acts and you can download our policy below.