Decision details

RIPA & IPA Policy and Process 2023

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Committee considered a report seeking approval for the updated RIPA & IPA Policy, governing the Council’s lawful use of Covert Surveillance techniques and the lawful acquisition of Communications Data as investigative tools for investigations.  The updated RIPA & IPA Policy was attached to the report at Appendix 1 and the confidential appendices to the Policy were attached to the report at Appendix 2.


The report noted that Regulation Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) Part II provided the statutory framework to enable covert surveillance to be lawfully authorised and conducted by public authorities and that the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA) had been introduced as the new statutory framework governing the acquisition of Communications Data, which had previously been encapsulated within RIPA.  The Council’s previous RIPA Policy therefore required a comprehensive review and amendment to reflect the new statutory framework and mandatory processes for Local Authorities.  Both RIPA and IPA were supported by Codes of Practice and the purpose of both statutory regimes was to provide the lawful basis for public authorities to ensure they did not infringe a person’s Article 8 rights (Right to Privacy), except as may be permitted, to ensure a public authority acted in a way which was compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 and Human Rights Act 1998. 


The report set out for approval the new RIPA & IPA Policy at Appendix 1.  Attached at Appendix 2 were the 32 Appendices to the Policy which were procedural in nature and confidential for operational reasons.  The report also set out a summary of recent regulatory activity which included a Directed Surveillance Application for authorisation of a Test Purchase operation for the underage sale of alcohol and nicotine inhaling products (vapes) at Reading Festival.


Resolved –


            That the new RIPA & IPA Policy 2023 be adopted.


(Appendix 2 contained Exempt Information as defined in Paragraph 7 specified in Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).)

Publication date: 15/11/2023

Date of decision: 30/10/2023

Decided at meeting: 30/10/2023 - Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: