FOI Request - Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act

Request 101000397720

1) Can you please tell me how many times the local authority has sanctioned the
use of the powers of Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act (Ripsa)
to gain information on members of the public?

2) Can you break down the figures for each year from 2010 until now.

3) In each case can you give details of why you were observing the individuals, for
example anti social behaviour, benefit cheats, etc.

4) In each case what measures were used to survey them, ie CCTV, covert
cameras, audio recording devices, surveillance etc?

5) In each case can you also list what was discovered, if anything, by the use of
the surveillance.

Response 14-12-2015

1-3) This information is exempt information under Section 25 as it is otherwise obtainable up to end March 2015. This information was previously requested for the years 2010-2013 and can be found here for 2010-2013

We also report these figures annually to Policy and Resources committee from 1 April to 31 March the following year and the annual reports for April 2012/March 2013, April 2013/March 2014 and April 2014/March 2015 can be found here.

For use of RIPSA powers from 1 April 2015 to now, this is exempt information which if disclosed would be likely to substantially prejudice the prevention or detection of crime and the prosecution of offenders and is therefore exempt under Section 35 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. The information is also exempt in terms of  Section 34(1) in that it relates to investigations conducted by the local authority which may lead to a decision by them to make a report to the Procurator Fiscal to enable it to be determined whether criminal proceedings should be instituted.  The exemptions are subject to a public interest test and the Council considers that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.

4) Measure Used                                                                                                                                         Number
    Observation by officer                                                                                                                                18
    Video and audio recording                                                                                                                          7
    Observing online auction and sales site activity (Ebay, Gumtree, Facebook etc.)                                          17
    Test transactions where officers pose as customers, including corresponding with the subject of enquiry        26

5) What was Discovered                                                                                                                             Number
     Evidence of the identity of people or businesses being investigated                                                              32
     Evidence of illegal trading practices under:-
     1. Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.                                                                           4
     2. Tobacco controls                                                                                                                                  10
     3. Trade Marks Act                                                                                                                                  19

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