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Issue - meetings

Update on RIPA Authorisations

Meeting: 06/09/2018 - Standards and General Purposes Committee (Item 5)

5 Update on RIPA Authorisations pdf icon PDF 65 KB


The Monitoring Officer presented report which provided an update on investigations authorised under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act since March 2018.  It was noted that only one request for directed surveillance had been made and authorised by the Magistrates Court, which was in relation to fly tipping. This had resulted in one official warning being issued; seven fixed penalty notices of £400 being issued; seven cases pending legal action; and four cases pending further enforcement action.  There would be an article in the next issue of My Merton publicising the work.


Members welcomed the information being publicised in My Merton, and felt that it should be publicised wider in an effort to deter people from fly tipping in the Borough.  It was noted that there had been incidences of fly tipping which had been blamed on the traveller community, and it was stressed that there were examples of fly tipping from a wide range of people.  Members were concerned over the levels of fly tipping and encouraged officers to use the technology available and increase levels of enforcement.


In response to a Member question, the Monitoring Officer advised that whilst surveillance was used, covert surveillance was not widely used by councils as it’s use was contentious with many members, and there had been instances of abuses in other local authorities.  The Committee had previously expressed concern over whether enough enforcement was used.  Those comments had been fed back to officers in enforcement and the communications team, and those comments would be reiterated, stressing that more enforcement was proposed.


The Chair requested that the thanks of the Committee be passed to the staff involved in achieving the successful outcome.




That the purposes for which investigations have been authorised under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 be noted; and that successful prosecutions in respect of fly tipping be widely publicised as a deterrent.