Interesting post from Sam Lincoln, an ex OSC Chief Inspector. Sam is the author of our RIPA E Learning course: http://www.actnow.org.uk/content/185
It is almost two years since major changes to the local authority surveillance regime (under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, (RIPA) came into force.
Since 1st November 2012, whenever exercising any powers under RIPA (doing Directed Surveillance, deploying a CHIS or accessing Communications Data) councils have had to obtain Magistrates’ approval. Directed Surveillance has also been made the subject of a new Serious Crime Test (Read about the changes in detail here. On the whole the changes are working well.
A common criticism of local authorities though, by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners (OSC) when carrying out RIPA compliance inspections, is that they need to revise their RIPA polices and procedures in the light of the changes. Act Now has developed a RIPA procedures and guidance toolkit to prevent councils having to re invent the wheel. The toolkit has been drafted by Ibrahim Hasan, an experienced trainer and writer on surveillance law.
The toolkit includes an updated version of our previous RIPA Forms Guidance document, which was bought by over one hundred different organisations. In addition there are detailed guidance notes on deciding when surveillance is caught by RIPA, how to authorise it and what to do about surveillance which is not regulated by RIPA. The toolkit is written in straightforward language (avoiding legal jargon) and includes flowcharts to assist understanding. The full contents list includes:
New – Template covert surveillance policy statement
New – Guide to the changes in force from 1st November 2012
New – Full guide to surveillance under RIPA (e.g. Directed, CHIS etc.)
New – Guidance for Authorising Officers including decision trees
New – Seeking Magistrates’ Approval
Step by step guide to the process
New judicial application/order form with full notes to assist completion
Updated – Completing the RIPA Forms
Procedure for completing the forms
All Directed Surveillance forms with full notes to assist completion
All CHIS forms with full notes to assist completion
Updated – Undertaking Non RIPA Surveillance
When it is appropriate
Non – RIPA Surveillance Authorisation Form
More here: http://www.actnow.org.uk/content/117
The normal price of the toolkit is £199 plus vat for a hard copy and £399 plus vat for a CD ROM (plus hard copy). The CD contains an electronic version with a licence to make additional hard copies and to upload the toolkit on to an intranet site (for internal use only).
TIME LIMITED OFFER – Until 30th September 2014, we are offering the hard copy for £99 plus vat and the CD ROM for £199 plus vat. Please quote “Blog/OfferSep14” when ordering. No other discounts apply.
Scottish colleagues can buy the RIP(S)A version of the toolkit here: http://www.actnow.org.uk/content/84
For those of you looking for refresher training in this area, we have a full program of public workshops. We can also bring the training to you for a customised in house training course. Please get in touch for a quote.