The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA)

Surveillance and RIPA

Under Fire Safety legislation we have a duty to carry out regulatory activities. To do this our fire safety officers have certain powers and rights, such as to request documents, to enter premises and inspect goods.

To prevent and detect crime we can also investigate hoax 999 calls and other criminal activity. In limited situations we may also need to conduct investigations in respect of its own employees and others to prevent or detect crime.

In summary this means that in specific circumstances we can conduct surveillance activities, including:

  • Interception of communications

  • Acquisition of communications data

  • Direct covert surveillance for specific operations

  • Use of covert intelligence sources (informants etc)

  • Access to encrypted data - on application to Court

RIPA provides a framework of controls which ensures surveillance is used properly and maintains privacy and human rights and complies with legislation.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service rarely needs to use these surveillance powers, but we recognise that occasionally surveillance is necessary and valuable. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will comply with the letter and spirit of RIPA and associated Code of Practice in order to ensure that we fulfil our regulatory duties appropriately.

You can find out more information about RIPA requirements and the Codes of Practice by visiting the Office of the Surveillance Commissioners website (opens in new window)

How do I make a complaint?

The RIPA framework helps us to consider whether any surveillance is lawful and responsible. If you are concerned about the way we use surveillance and meet RIPA requirements please write to:

Head of Legal (SRO-RIPA),
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters,
Sadler Road,
CW7 2FQ.

If you wish to make a formal complaint about any event that you believe has taken place against you, your property or your communications under the RIPA requirements above please contact the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) at:

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal
PO Box 33220
Telephone: 0207 035 3711

Last updated: Thursday 20 August 2015