mobile phone link image
jobs page link image
follow us on facebook follow us on twitter
00  Month

Council accepts ‘snooping’ guidelines

Created on 10/08/2010 @ 13:56


Covert surveillance operations by Powys County Council officers will only be carried out under strict national guidelines, the council has agreed.

The council's Board has accepted the Surveillance Commissioner's recommendations that any surveillance operation carried out by the council will comply with strict Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 rules.

Councillor Russell George, Board member for ICT and Customer Services said: “It is important that the council acts within the regulations and does not breach any human rights. The Council must demonstrate that the surveillance undertaken for the purpose of the prevention and detection of crime is necessary and proportionate and can be balanced against an individual's right to privacy.”

Councillor George said seven officers were able to authorise the use of powers under the Investigatory Powers Act and that the council's use of its powers had been inspected by the Office of the Surveillance Commissioner earlier in the year.

“The Inspector identified good practice in the council's RIPA administration standards, its structured training programme and in its Independent Audit reporting,” he said.

“I believe quite rightly that there is a considerable level of public interest in the use made by public authorities of covert intelligence gathering activities, I remain satisfied, about the level of use made of the legislation by Powys County Council in comparison with other Authorities.”

The Board agreed to adopt the commissioner's operating guidelines and that quarterly reports would be presented to the council's corporate governance scrutiny committee and board member.
Statistics have revealed that only three cases of surveillance have been authorized by Powys County Council over the last two years, compared to Newcastle Upon Tyne which has authorized 231 during the same period.
icnn logo