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RIPA For Dummies

24/01/13 - Written by Peter Jenkins

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Over the recent past there have been various posts on a number of investigative related forums where there have been discussions about trespass, deploying trackers, using telephoto lenses, lifting bins, putting cameras on a house etc etc.. and every time someone pipes up ‘..but isn’t that illegal under RIPA..?’

In simple terms: NO IT DOESN’T!

Now then, to put it into simple terms, you can do what you like in the commercial world (carry out surveillance, follow people, follow cars, take photographs…) and RIPA has got absolutely nothing to do with it. Absolutely nothing, zero, zilch..

RIPA ONLY concerns YOU if you are employed by (or acting on behalf of) one of these public bodies listed (please read carefully now):-

Charity Commission
Criminal Cases Review Commission
Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
A county council or district council in England & Wales
Department for Transport, for the purposes of:
Marine Accident Investigation Branch
Rail Accident Investigation Branch
Air Accidents Investigation Branch
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
A district council within the meaning of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment for Northern Ireland
Department of Health
Department of Trade and Industry
Environment Agency
Financial Services Authority
A fire and rescue authority
Fire Authority for Northern Ireland
Food Standards Agency
Gambling Commission
Gangmasters Licensing Authority
Government Communications Headquarters
Health and Safety Executive
HM Revenue and Customs
Home Office (for the purposes of the UK Border Agency)
Independent Police Complaints Commission
Information Commissioner
A Joint Board where it is a fire authority
Ofcom
Office of Fair Trading
The Pensions Regulator
Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
Port of Dover Police
Port of Liverpool Police
Post Office Investigation Branch
Postal Services Commission
NHS ambulance service Trust
NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Services Trust
Northern Ireland Health and Social Services Central Services Agency
Royal Navy Regulating Branch
Royal Military Police
Royal Air Force Police
Scottish Ambulance Service Board
A Scottish council where it is a fire authority
Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Secret Intelligence Service
Security Service
Serious Fraud Office
The special police forces (including the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency)
The territorial police forces
Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

Please Note: CPO, Surveillance Dude, Private Eye, Dog Handler is NOT on the list. If you are not acting on behalf on any of the above, never mention RIPA again for the duration of your natural life.

pantsIf you are one of those people who, on their investigation / security websites state: ‘Our company complies with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and the Human Rights Act 1998…blah blah, I challenge you, will call you a big liar and stand back from the heat as your pants catch fire.

It’s so simple people, if you are not on the above list, forget RIPA as if you have never heard of it. Simples..

Afternote: This article concerns RIPA and the private contractor. It is advised that any private surveillance is considered for necessity, proportionality and the possibilty of collateral intrusion.

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