Happy New Year - our first newsletter of 2021! Throughout this year we will continue to bring you news and developments relating to the charities sector.
It is vital to be aware of the procedures to be followed when acting under RIPA as getting it wrong can result in civil liability (such as a hefty fine) or, in some cases, criminal prosecution. Under the new guidelines, social landlords who partner with local authorities to combat crime, tenancy fraud or anti-social behaviour may have to alter the way they operate.
The main changes in the Act relate to covert and person-specific surveillance. Local authorities now need to seek judicial permission to use CCTV to film or photograph individuals.
CCTV is in widespread use amongst social landlords and local authorities (who also use private investigators and other means to investigate individuals). Surveillance is used for a number of reasons, such as to track those they have suspected of benefit fraud, to catch alleged vandals or to prove that someone is guilty of leaving dog mess on the ground. In future, should a local authority wish to carry out such surveillance, they will need to apply for permission through a Magistrate in order to prove that the surveillance is warranted – and a justifiable use of public money.
There are quite a few practical steps that registered providers and councils should take. To not fall foul of the changes, registered providers should work closely with local authorities. All local authorities have an internal officer that is responsible for authorising surveillance under RIPA and they are responsible for making sure that all notifications are up to date and approved.
Renewing in good time is the responsibility of the local authority so it is important to make sure that both the council and the registered provider are aware of renewal dates to avoid either party operating outside the law.
Applications must be made by the authorised officer to a Magistrate with a copy of the original RIPA authorisation or the RIPA notice and supporting documentation. In addition, a brief summary of the specific case that surveillance is requested for must be provided to support the application for that case.
The Magistrate will decide if the RIPA application or renewal is justified and their view will determine whether the covert investigation can be continued or implemented. As a rule of thumb, surveillance measures for offences that could result in a six month jail term are likely to be granted whereas tracking individuals for ‘minor’ offences such as dog fouling may be harder to get approved.
For more information
For further information, please contact David Hall on 0121 212 7402 or email email@example.com.
Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Most housing practitioners have perhaps been waiting for this news since the latest lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021.
Climate change and biodiversity is an area where significantly faster changes are needed on a global and local basis.
Chris Lloyd Smith, Adrian Leonard and Lisa Whitehouse discuss the planning opportunities available to owners of businesses and how to prepare for unforeseen events.
In their 3rd podcast of the series, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon discuss a number of problems with and difficulties that can arise in mediation and the mechanisms they use to overcome them.
Our previous round-up began by sharing the news that two vaccines had shown very promising test results. Here we are, not even a month later, and the first vaccines have already been administered!
The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated that there is great resilience and innovation in the housing sector across Greater Manchester, it has also brought shortfalls and other priorities sharply into foc
For part 5 in this series of short podcasts, Chris Lloyd-Smith interviews associate Kadie Bennett on how she has been coping during these unprecedented times.
The first report of Donna Ockenden and her team into the review of maternity services at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been published today.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.