Policy paper

Changes to local authority use of RIPA

This publication was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

From 1 November 2012 local authorities are required to obtain judicial approval prior to using covert techniques.

Documents

Guidance to local authorities (England and Wales) (PDF file - 969kb)

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Guidance for magistrates' courts (England and Wales) (PDF file - 256kb)

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Guidance to local authorities (Scotland) (PDF file - 136kb)

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Approval/order form for England and Wales (Microsoft Word file - 41kb)

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Application for judicial approval (Scotland) (Microsoft Word file - 50kb)

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Order form (Scotland) (Microsoft Word file - 33kb)

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Detail

From 1 November 2012 local authorities are required to obtain judicial approval prior to using covert techniques. Local authority authorisations and notices under RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) will only be given effect once an order has been granted by a justice of the peace in England and Wales, a sheriff in Scotland and a district judge (magistrates’ courts) in Northern Ireland.

Additionally, from this date local authority use of directed surveillance under RIPA will be limited to the investigation of crimes which attract a six month or more custodial sentence, with the exception of offences relating to the underage sale of alcohol and tobacco.

Date: Tue Oct 09 11:30:47 BST 2012

Guidance to local authorities on the judicial approval process for RIPA and the crime threshold for directed surveillance. Correction pg 7, para 16. ‘That is: 3 months for directed surveillance and 12 months for CHIS (1 month if the CHIS is under 18).’

Guidance for magistrates’ courts for an application seeking an order to approve the grant or renewal of a RIPA authorisation or notice.

Guidance to local authorities in Scotland on the judicial approval process for RIPA.

Complete and return the form to apply for judicial approval for authorisation to obtain or disclose communications data, to use a covert human intelligence source or to conduct directed surveillance.

Form for use by local authorities in Scotland to apply for judicial approval under Section 23B(1) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Order form for use by sheriffs in Scotland under Section 23A(2) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.