Covert Surveillance

See these examples at 3.15, which again have obvious parallels for social workers tasked with gathering evidence to support their assertions about disguised compliance or ongoing relationships etc for the purposes of care proceedings:

Example 1: A police officer undertakes a simple internet search on a name, address or telephone number to find out whether a subject of interest has an online presence. This is unlikely to need an authorisation. However, if having found an individual’s social media profile or identity, it is decided to monitor it or extract information from it for retention in a record because it is relevant to an investigation or operation, authorisation should then be considered.

Example 2: A customs officer makes an initial examination of an individual’s online profile to establish whether they are of relevance to an investigation. This is unlikely to need an authorisation. However, if during that visit it is intended to extract and record information to establish a profile including information such as identity, pattern of life, habits, intentions or associations, it may be advisable to have in place an authorisation even for that single visit. (As set out in the following paragraph, the purpose of the visit may be relevant as to whether an authorisation should be sought.)

Covert surveillance
2.1 Part II of the 2000 Act provides for the authorisation of covert surveillance by public authorities listed at Schedule 1 of the 2000 Act where that surveillance is likely to result in the obtaining of private information about a person.

2.2 Surveillance, for the purpose of the 2000 Act, includes monitoring, observing or
listening to persons, their movements, conversations or other activities and
communications. It may be conducted with or without the assistance of a surveillance
device and includes the recording of any information obtained
2.3 Surveillance is covert if, and only if, it is carried out in a manner calculated to ensure that any persons who are subject to the surveillance are unaware that it is or may be taking place
2.4 Specifically, covert surveillance may be authorised under the 2000 Act if it is either
directed or intrusive:
• Directed surveillance is covert surveillance that is not intrusive and is carried out
in relation to a specific investigation or operation in such a manner as is likely to
result in the obtaining of private information about any person (other than by way
of an immediate response to events or circumstances such that it is not
reasonably practicable to seek authorisation under the 2000 Act);
• Intrusive surveillance is covert surveillance that is carried out in relation to
anything taking place on residential premises or in any private vehicle (and that
involves the presence of an individual on the premises or in the vehicle or is
carried out by a means of a surveillance device)5
2.5 Chapter 3 of this code provides a fuller description of directed and intrusive
surveillance, along with definitions of terms, exceptions and examples. Surveillance
carried out as part of an equipment interference warrant issued under the 2016 Act
does not require a separate authorisation under the 2000 Act (see paragraphs 3.41
to 3.44 below).

Click to access 201800802_CSPI_code.pdf

1 Comments on “Covert Surveillance”

Leave a Reply, All comments will be moderated - Many thanks for your contribution

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: