Statistics on Cardiff Council's use of its RIPA powers

Richard King made this Freedom of Information request to Cardiff Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to know the following information about the Council's use of the powers granted to it under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000:

- The number of times that the use of {directed surveillance} has been authorised under the RIPA by an officer of the Council.

- The number of times that the use of {covert human intelligence} has been authorised under the RIPA by an officer of the Council.

- The total number of each type of request where the investigation or operation was deemed likely to result in obtaining {confidential information} (as defined in the Home Office Covert Surveillance Code of Practice).

- The total number of each type of request in which it was determined that a risk of {collateral intrusion} existed (as defined by the Home Office Covert Surveillance Code of Practice).

- The total number of requests for each type of surveillance that have been rejected by an officer of the Council.

- A statement on the type of investigation for which each request for surveillance was made (or an indication of the criminal offence evidence of which was being sought by means of the surveillance). For example, "benefit fraud investigation", "immigration investigation". If it would be less burdensome to do so, this information could be provided in aggregate (for example, "12 of the requests were made in support of benefit fraud investigations").

I believe this data should be cheap to obtain by virtue of the requirement for central record-keeping in the Home Office Code of Practice; and its disclosure is in the public interest in the light of recent media reports of the use made of the RIPA by Poole Borough Council.

Yours faithfully,

Richard King.

Cardiff Council

ATT Richard King

Dear Mr King,

Thank you for your freedom of information request.
Your request has been forwarded to the freedom of information officer in
Strategic Planning and Environment who will be dealing with your enquiry.

Yours Sincerely,
Steph John
Connect to Cardiff
Cardiff County Council
County Hall
Atlantic Wharf
Cardiff
CF10 4UW

Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 2087

Do you find it difficult to remember all those monthly bills? Setting up a
Direct Debit for your Council Tax couldn't be easier, for more information
go to www.cardiff.gov.uk or complete and return the instruction on the
back of the bill to Cardiff County Council, PO Box 9000, Cardiff, CF10 3WD

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to know the following information about the Council's

use of the powers granted to it under the Regulation of Investigatory

Powers Act (RIPA) 2000:

- The number of times that the use of {directed surveillance} has

been authorised under the RIPA by an officer of the Council.

- The number of times that the use of {covert human intelligence}

has been authorised under the RIPA by an officer of the Council.

- The total number of each type of request where the investigation

or operation was deemed likely to result in obtaining {confidential

information} (as defined in the Home Office Covert Surveillance Code

of Practice).

- The total number of each type of request in which it was

determined that a risk of {collateral intrusion} existed (as defined

by the Home Office Covert Surveillance Code of Practice).

- The total number of requests for each type of surveillance that

have been rejected by an officer of the Council.

- A statement on the type of investigation for which each request

for surveillance was made (or an indication of the criminal offence

evidence of which was being sought by means of the surveillance). For

example, "benefit fraud investigation", "immigration investigation".

If it would be less burdensome to do so, this information could be

provided in aggregate (for example, "12 of the requests were made in

support of benefit fraud investigations").

I believe this data should be cheap to obtain by virtue of the

requirement for central record-keeping in the Home Office Code of

Practice; and its disclosure is in the public interest in the light

of recent media reports of the use made of the RIPA by Poole Borough
Council.

Yours faithfully,

Richard King.

show quoted sections

Bradshaw, Phillip, Cardiff Council

Dear Mr King

I refer to your request submitted on 15th April. I regret that there has
been considerable disruption to our FOI service as a result of an accident
to our FOI Officer on the weekend of 19 April, as a result of which he is
likely to be off work for several months.

This matter is now being attended to and you should receive the
information , unless the information is exempt (or provision would exceed
the costs limit) or we require additional time to consider whether
disclosure is in the public interest in accordance with section 10(3) of
the Act.

Cardiff Council's policy is to carry out the spirit and requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act in a manner which:

- recognizes the duty to inform as the essential principle underlying the
legislation;

- discloses to requesters the maximum information possible which is not
injurious to the public and private interests identified in the exemptions
in the Act and does so in the most timely and consistent manner given the
nature and scope of the request;

- ensures that fees permitted under the Act are kept to an absolute
minimum whilst safeguarding our position as a non-profit making repayment
department

We will try to supply information in electronic format by email, but if
this is not possible we will let you know. If you have any special
requirements e.g. language, audio, large print, etc. please let us know.

The Act defines a number of exemptions which may prevent the release of
information. If any exemptions apply to your information request they will
be considered prior to disclosure. If any of the exemption categories do
apply an explanation for non-disclosure will be included in the Decision
Notice response you will receive, included in this notice is your right to
appeal against our decision.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then
they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to
release the information to you. We will keep you informed if this issue
arises.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding the FOIA please do not
hesitate to contact me.

You can find out more about the Act from the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office (Wales)

Cambrian Buildings

Mount Stuart Square

Cardiff

CF10 5FL

[1]http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.u...

Telephone: 029 2044 8044
Fax: 029 2044 8045

Email: [2][email address]

Phillip Bradshaw

Information Manager
Clerk to the Council

Room CY4B, County Hall

EMail: [3][email address]

Phone: 029 2087 3346
[mobile number]

Fax:       029 2087 3349

Proactive Publishing Promotes Positive Perceptions

show quoted sections

Mae'n bosibl bod gwybodaeth gyfrinachol yn y neges hon. Os na chyfeirir y
neges atoch chi'n benodol (neu os nad ydych chi'n gyfrifol am
drosglwyddo'r neges i'r person a enwir), yna ni chewch gopio na
throsglwyddo'r neges. Mewn achos o'r fath, dylech ddinistrio'r neges a
hysbysu'r anfonwr drwy e-bost ar unwaith. Rhowch wybod i'r anfonydd ar
unwaith os nad ydych chi neu eich cyflogydd yn caniatau e-bost y Rhyngrwyd
am negeseuon fel hon. Rhaid deall nad yw'r safbwyntiau, y casgliadau a'r
wybodaeth arall yn y neges hon nad ydynt yn cyfeirio at fusnes swyddogol
Cyngor Dinas a Sir Caerdydd yn cynrychioli barn y Cyngor Sir nad yn cael
sel ei fendith. Caiff unrhyw negeseuon a anfonir at, neu o'r cyfeiriad
e-bost hwn eu prosesu gan system E-bost Gorfforaethol Cyngor Sir Caerdydd
a gallant gael eu harchwilio gan rywun heblaw'r person a enwir.

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.u...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]

Dear Phillip

Thanks for your reply and the explanation of the delay in responding to my FoI request.

This is clearly an unfortunate situation and I hope the FoI Officer in question makes a full and speedy recovery.

You indicated that my request will now be fulfilled by someone else. Please can you let me know when they expect to be able to respond?

Yours sincerely

Richard King.

Dear Sir or Madam,

It has now been a month since the deadline for you to respond to my FoI request passed. I acknowledge the difficulties resulting from the incapacitation of your FoI officer, but note that you have not responded to my email of 14 May asking for a new estimated response time, and am left wondering whether this request has been overlooked.

I would appreciate a response to indicate this is not the case, and a commitment from yourselves as to when I can expect a reply to my FoI request.

Yours sincerely,

Richard King.

Cardiff Council

Dear Richard King,

Thank you for your communication regarding your Freedom of Information
request.

This has been forwarded to our Information Management Service who are
dealing with your original request.

I apologise for any inconvenience you have been caused.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Paula Franklin
Records Officer
Connect to Cardiff
Cardiff County Council
County Hall
Atlantic Wharf
Cardiff
CF10 4UW

email . [email address]

Do you find it difficult to remember all those monthly bills? Setting up a
Direct Debit for your Council Tax couldn't be easier, for more information
go to www.cardiff.gov.uk or complete and return the instruction on the
back of the bill to Cardiff County Council, PO Box 9000, Cardiff, CF10 3WD

Dear Sir or Madam,

It has now been a month since the deadline for you to respond to my

FoI request passed. I acknowledge the difficulties resulting from

the incapacitation of your FoI officer, but note that you have not

responded to my email of 14 May asking for a new estimated response

time, and am left wondering whether this request has been

overlooked.

I would appreciate a response to indicate this is not the case, and

a commitment from yourselves as to when I can expect a reply to my

FoI request.

Yours sincerely,

Richard King.

show quoted sections

Bradshaw, Phillip, Cardiff Council

I refer to your email of 13 June.

Your request has not been overlooked but I regret that due to ongoing
staff shortages I cannot at this stage give you a firm estimate for a
response.

You also have the right, under section 50 of the Freedom of Information
Act to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision whether, in
any specified respect, your request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of Part I of the Act.

You can find out more about the Act from the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office (Wales)

Cambrian Buildings

Mount Stuart Square

Cardiff

CF10 5FL

[1]http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.u...

Telephone: 029 2044 8044

Fax: 029 2044 8045

Email: [2][email address]

Phillip Bradshaw

Information Manager
Clerk to the Council

Room CY4B, County Hall

EMail: [3][email address]

Phone: 029 2087 3346
[mobile number]

Fax:       029 2087 3349

Proactive Publishing Promotes Positive Perceptions

show quoted sections

Mae'n bosibl bod gwybodaeth gyfrinachol yn y neges hon. Os na chyfeirir y
neges atoch chi'n benodol (neu os nad ydych chi'n gyfrifol am
drosglwyddo'r neges i'r person a enwir), yna ni chewch gopio na
throsglwyddo'r neges. Mewn achos o'r fath, dylech ddinistrio'r neges a
hysbysu'r anfonwr drwy e-bost ar unwaith. Rhowch wybod i'r anfonydd ar
unwaith os nad ydych chi neu eich cyflogydd yn caniatau e-bost y Rhyngrwyd
am negeseuon fel hon. Rhaid deall nad yw'r safbwyntiau, y casgliadau a'r
wybodaeth arall yn y neges hon nad ydynt yn cyfeirio at fusnes swyddogol
Cyngor Dinas a Sir Caerdydd yn cynrychioli barn y Cyngor Sir nad yn cael
sel ei fendith. Caiff unrhyw negeseuon a anfonir at, neu o'r cyfeiriad
e-bost hwn eu prosesu gan system E-bost Gorfforaethol Cyngor Sir Caerdydd
a gallant gael eu harchwilio gan rywun heblaw'r person a enwir.

**********************************************************************

References

Visible links
1. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.u...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]

Jeffreys, Barry, Cardiff Council

Your Ref:RFI 764

Dear Richard

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 about
RIPA requests received on 15th April 2008

Please accept my apologies for the very late response to your request. We
have considered your request and enclose the following information:

I would like to know the following information about the Council's use of
the powers granted to it under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act
(RIPA) 2000:

- The number of times that the use of {directed surveillance} has been
authorised under the RIPA by an officer of the Council.

2001: 14

2002 13

2003: 16

2004: 18

2005: 12

2006: 10

2007: 9

2008: 14

- The number of times that the use of {covert human intelligence}has been
authorised under the RIPA by an officer of the Council.

One in 2005

- The total number of each type of request where the investigation or
operation was deemed likely to result in obtaining {confidential
information} (as defined in the Home Office Covert Surveillance Code of
Practice).

None

- The total number of each type of request in which it was determined
that a risk of {collateral intrusion} existed (as defined by the Home
Office Covert Surveillance Code of Practice). Every covert operation
presents a risk of collateral intrusion. In considering whether to grant
an authorisation to conduct covert surveillance, an authorising officer
will consider the risk of collateral intrusion occuring, consider how the
applicant officer intends to reduce the risk of collateral intrusion
occuring, and ensure measures are taken to avoid unnecessary intrusion in
to the lives of those not connected with an investigation.

- The total number of requests for each type of surveillance that
have been rejected by an officer of the Council.

I cannot answer this question for the period in question. I have rejected
three in 2008, two of which were subsequently revised, resubmitted and
approved. I do not have any more information on this issue.

The number of rejections are falling following a series of training events
for officers, who are now better informed about the requirements of RIPA.

- A statement on the type of investigation for which each request for
surveillance was made (or an indication of the criminal offence evidence
of which was being sought by means of the surveillance). For example,
"benefit fraud investigation", "immigration investigation". If it would be
less burdensome to do so, this information could beprovided in aggregate
(for example, "12 of the requests were made in support of benefit fraud
investigations").

2008 - Fourteen to date (Six illegal money lending (two in Cardiff four
outside) Two product counterfeiting, Two antisocial behaviour (at request
of residents), two unfair trading -misdescription of goods), two financial
fraud. 2007 - Nine covert surveillance operations authorised (Two -
Product counterfeiting, One antisocial behaviour,Three - financial fraud,
Three - illegal money lending One Cardiff Two outside Cardiff 2006 - Ten
covert surveillance operations authorised (four focused on rogue
traders/itinerant roofers/builders, two product counterfeiting, two
illegal street trading on Queen street, two antisocial behaviour) 2005 -
11 Covert surveillance operations - (4 for product counterfeiting/illegal
street trading; one fly tipping; 2 for sales of age restricted products -
fireworks, alcohol, solvents and cigarettes- One for the supply of non
fire retardant furniture; One for a rogue builder preying on vulnerable
people; One for the sale of unroadworthy cars at the roadside; One mock
auction) 2004 - 10 Covert operations - (2 -Fly tipping, 2 for Counterfeit
products/unsafe goods/street trading; 2 for Food hygiene
investigations{unfit food}; 2 for sales of age restricted products -
fireworks, alcohol, solvents and cigarettes; 1 for counterfeit goods; 1
for a mock auction)

2003: 7 Covert operations - (4 for fly tipping; 2 for Food hygiene {unfit
food}, 1 for counterfeiting/illegal street trading)

We supply this information based on your original request. If this
information does not answer your enquiry or if you feel we have not fully
understood your request, please contact me to clarify your exact
requirements.

If you have any queries or concerns or are in any way dissatisfied with
the handling of your request please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours Sincerely

Barry Jeffreys
Information Compliance Manager
Swyddog Rheoli Gwybodaeth
Cardiff Council
Room CY5
County Hall
02920-873307

show quoted sections

Mae'n bosibl bod gwybodaeth gyfrinachol yn y neges hon. Os na chyfeirir y
neges atoch chi'n benodol (neu os nad ydych chi'n gyfrifol am
drosglwyddo'r neges i'r person a enwir), yna ni chewch gopio na
throsglwyddo'r neges. Mewn achos o'r fath, dylech ddinistrio'r neges a
hysbysu'r anfonwr drwy e-bost ar unwaith. Rhowch wybod i'r anfonydd ar
unwaith os nad ydych chi neu eich cyflogydd yn caniatau e-bost y Rhyngrwyd
am negeseuon fel hon. Rhaid deall nad yw'r safbwyntiau, y casgliadau a'r
wybodaeth arall yn y neges hon nad ydynt yn cyfeirio at fusnes swyddogol
Cyngor Dinas a Sir Caerdydd yn cynrychioli barn y Cyngor Sir nad yn cael
sel ei fendith. Caiff unrhyw negeseuon a anfonir at, neu o'r cyfeiriad
e-bost hwn eu prosesu gan system E-bost Gorfforaethol Cyngor Sir Caerdydd
a gallant gael eu harchwilio gan rywun heblaw'r person a enwir.

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