Shropshire Council

RIPA policy

The council’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Policy and Guidance is relevant to all staff who undertake surveillance and similar covert techniques, ie, where you monitor, observe or listen to people (including other staff for internal disciplinary or similar matters), build up relationships to obtain information, or obtain communications data, eg phone or IP subscriber details, without those people being aware that the monitoring, observing or listening is or may be taking place. 

This includes internet and social media research that you may undertake to aid your day-to-day work. It is important to remember that computers, tablets and smartphones are all potentially surveillance devices and repeated viewing of individuals on the internet or through social media using these devices is likely to meet the test of monitoring, which in turn will amount to surveillance, and this should not be undertaken without discussing your activities with your manager and full consideration given to the provisions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Policy and Guidance. Managers must ensure they are actively monitoring staff to prevent inadvertent unauthorised access to and use of information on the internet and on social media as this may lead to breaches of privacy. Personal devices must not be used to undertake work related research/surveillance.    

All staff should familiarise themselves with the council’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Policy and Guidance.  A short online training course covering the fundamental principles in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act is available on Leap into Learning, which all staff are encouraged to undertake. Please note, the online training is due to be revised as it is not completely up-to-date and specifically does not cover the implications of internet and social media research.

If you have any questions about the policy and its applicability to what you do, please contact the council’s RIPA co-ordinator, Frances Darling: or 01743 251715.