There’s been a lot of negative press concerning how councils use the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to snoop on people. John Crossley reports on how South Derbyshire District Council has used RIPA.
A used a controversial ‘snooping’ law four times in the last six months…. The authority used it three times to help with benefit fraud investigations and once for the installation of CCTV to detect anti-social behaviour.
Between April 2009 and March 2010, the council authorised the use of directed surveillance 17 times. This included 10 times for fraud investigations and a further four times to install CCTV to detect anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and racial harassment.
It employed the powers twice more so that Environmental Health’s Safer Neighbourhood wardens could install CCTV to detect criminal damage and to investigate an illegal clothing recycling operation.
The RIPA was also used to investigate a private hire driver who was suspected of operating without a licence.
Read more in the Burton Mail and see what you think. Do you think this council is using its authority responsibly? Have we found a council whose use of RIPA seems reasonable or not?