RIPA 2000 Part 2

RIPA 2000 Part 2

In this blog we will be explaining the difference between the two different types of surveillance techniques as well as going into more depth about the act and its implications.

In the previous blog on RIPA 2000 we stated that there are two different definitions of surveillance. These definitions are intrusive and directive. So what do they mean?

Intrusive surveillance really means that the investigator can do pretty much anything (within certain boundaries of course) to put their target under surveillance. This may sound quite scary but this is one of the main reasons that RIPA was regulate this type of behaviour. Intrusive surveillance can only be carried out by the security authorities in very extreme and particulate cases.

For example should MI6 or MI5 want to put a suspect under surveillance for "terror" related reasons then they would be able to perform intrusive surveillance. Although this is a very simplistic explanation of intrusive surveillance and there are of course legal guidelines for the security services, intrusive surveillance can only be performed by a public authority under very extreme circumstances.

Directive surveillance means that the public authority can put a subject under surveillance but with very clear guidelines and limits as to how far that can go. The key thing to understand with directive surveillance is that is has to be necessary and proportionate.

It also means that even if the surveillance is necessary and proportionate to the case, it has to be done with other restrictions. One of the main restrictions is that, in essence, the operative can only film, photograph or record what is accessible to the naked eye. So if the subject is suspected of being off sick from work with a bad back and they are playing golf every day then the operative, like any other member of the public, would be able to see this person on the golf course and can therefore recorded the subject doing this.

If the operative climbed the suspects wall outside their house to take pictures of the target doing a training session in their garden, then this would be illegal as they had to climb a wall to see it and it therefore wasn't viewable to the naked eye.

In the next blog about RIPA 2000 we'll go into even further detail in order to understand this important piece of legislation.

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