The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) is the law
governing the use of covert techniques by public authorities.
It requires that when public authorities – such as the police or
government departments – need to use covert techniques to obtain
private information about someone, they do it in a way that is
necessary, proportionate, and compatible with human rights.
When does RIPA apply?
RIPA applies to a wide-range of investigations in which private
information might be obtained. Cases in which it can apply
- public safety
- emergency services
What RIPA does?
RIPA's guidelines and codes apply to actions such as:
- intercepting communications, such as the content of telephone
calls, emails or letters.
- acquiring communications data – the ‘who, when and where’ of
communications, such as a telephone billing or subscriber
- conducting covert surveillance, either in private premises or
vehicles (intrusive surveillance) or in public places (directed
- the use of covert human intelligence sources, such as
informants or undercover officers.
- access to electronic data protected by encryption or
Who to Contact?
For advice on the use of regulatory powers please contact the
Council's legal unit on 01909 533274.
Bassetlaw District Council Policies
View the Council's corporate policy on RIPA.
RIPA Codes Of Practice Issued By The Home Office
Codes of practice and guidance for making an application under
the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000). These help
public authorities assess and understand whether and in what
circumstances it is appropriate to use covert techniques. The codes
also provide guidance on what procedures need to be followed in
each case. All RIPA codes must be approved and debated in both
Houses of Parliament and published.
Guidance on the procedures that must be followed before
interception of communications can take place.
Guidance on the procedures to be followed before acquiring or
disclosing communications data.
Information and guidance for authorising covert surveillance and
The following code applies to authorising and using covert
The following code provides guidance that should be followed
when protected electronic information is decrypted.
Last Updated - 25/04/2013