No Cold Feet Over RIPA
In the wake of a new consultation on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) TSI stands by its support for all local authority trading standards services and professionals to have access to powers provided by the Act.
The Home Office plans to reduce the offences that can be investigated using these powers. A review of public authorities able to use RIPA powers and proposals to raise the level of authorisation in local authorities will also be included along with a new code of practice.
Ron Gainsford, TSI chief executive, said: ‘Certain sections of the media have seemingly taken delight in suggesting that some local authorities have misunderstood their RIPA surveillance powers. But we trust the media, politicians in central and local government, and the Home Office would not want to compromise the dedicated work of local authority trading standards professionals who are using RIPA powers and surveillance to bring criminals to book.
‘Trading standards are not about trivia but about tackling serious criminals and RIPA powers are critical to trading standards work.
‘Now is not the time to get cold feet over RIPA - not if we really want to put a stop to criminals feeding off the elderly and the vulnerable.
‘We accept that the authorisation process and code or practice need to be looked at - councils need to be able to demonstrate why they are using these powers and that they, and others, can be trusted with them.’