What is RIPA?
One of the functions of the Authority is to carry out regulatory activities under fire safety legislation. These functions give to the officers involved powers and rights for example to require production of documents, to enter premises and inspect goods.
Officers of the Authority also investigate hoax 999 calls and other criminal activity. On some occasions it may also be appropriate for the Authority to conduct investigations in respect of its own employees and others to prevent or detect crime.
These powers are:
- Interception of communications
- Acquisition of communications data
- Directed covert surveillance in respect of specific operations
- Use of covert intelligence sources (for example informants)
- Access to encrypted data
To balance these powers and rights there are controls in place to prevent any abuse of these powers and to ensure that any such powers are used fairly, in accordance with the law.
Surveillance can be a necessary and valuable tool. RIPA controls its use and ensures that investigatory powers are used in accordance with human rights. Compliance with the letter and spirit of the Act and associated Code of Practice will ensure that the Authority performs its regulatory functions in a manner appropriate to a public authority and as a responsible employer.
How do I make a complaint about this?
The Authority hopes that the RIPA controls provide effective assurance that it is behaving lawfully and responsibly. If you consider that these powers are not being used lawfully please contact the Authority’s Senior Responsible Officer (RIPA), Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority,. Legal Services, Bridle Road Bootle L30 4YD.
If you wish to make a formal complaint the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) can deal with this.
The IPT can investigate any event that you believe has taken place against you, your property or your communications as long as it related to the powers held under RIPA (as above).
If you believe that you have a complaint or a Human Rights claim you should contact the IPT whose details are given below:
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal
PO Box 33220
Telephone: 0207 035 3711