Arising from a report of the Director of Corporate Services and Business Transformation, the Community Policy Development Group had made the following recommendations:
a) That the Cabinet approve the updated RIPA policy as attached as Appendix 1;
b) To note that the Council has not used its powers under RIPA since March 2014.
Arising from a report * of the Director of Corporate Affairs and Business Transformation, the Community Policy Development Group had recommended that the updated RIPA policy be approved and that the fact that the Council had not used its powers under RIPA since March 2014 be noted.
The Cabinet Member for the Working Environment and Support Services outlined the contents of the report stating that a few minor changes had been made to the policy following the restructure. She explained amendments made to the legislation which only allow covert surveillance to take place if it applied to a matter that would involve a 6 month custodial sentence and the process required which would involve the authorisation of a magistrate.
Consideration was given to:
· Any costs to the authority having to go through a magistrate – of which there were none.
· The possible use of covert surveillance with regard to fly tipping
· Whether other local authorities used covert surveillance for prosecution purposes specifically with regard to fly tipping.
RESOLVED that the recommendations of the Policy Development Group be approved.
(Proposed by Cllr Mrs M E Squires and seconded by Cllr R L Stanley)
Note: *Report previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.
To receive a report from the Director of Corporate Affairs and Business Transformation requesting that Members review and make recommendation to Cabinet with regard to approving the Council’s updated RIPA policy.
The Group had before it a report * from the Director of Corporate Affairs and Business Transformation regarding a review of the Council’s updated RIPA policy.
The Legal Services Manager outlined the contents of the report, explaining that the Council’s RIPA policy was considered by a Surveillance Inspector of the Office of Surveillance Commissioners during an inspection in April 2015. The comments of the Surveillance Inspector were that the policy was ‘a succinct and thorough guide which would be of assistance to applicants and authorising officers alike’.
The Office of Surveillance Commissioners had stated that it was good practice to review and update the RIPA Policy on an annual basis. Therefore the policy had been reviewed in light of the Office of Surveillance Commissioner’s report and in accordance with good practice.
The officer explained that minor amendments had been made to the RIPA Policy with regard to the recent senior management restructure and named responsible officers.
The officer informed the group that RIPA powers had not been used since March 2014 but that it was a useful tool to have in the enforcement tool kit.
It was RECOMMENDED that Cabinet:
a) Approve the updated RIPA policy as attached as Appendix 1;
b) Note that the Council had not used its powers under RIPA since March 2014.
(Proposed by Cllr Mrs A R Berry and seconded by Cllr Mrs H Bainbridge)
Note:- Report * previously circulated and attached to Minutes.