Regulation of Investigatory Powers

Some of our services may need to observe people without them knowing when we're carrying out certain duties. This activity is covered by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000 (RIP(S)A).

RIP(S)A governs the use of:

  • directed surveillance
  • covert human intelligence sources
  • intrusive surveillance (which we're not allowed to carry out)

These are important tools for gathering information which can help us to:

  • prevent or detect crime or prevent disorder
  • act in the interests of public safety
  • protect public health


RIP(S)A provides the legal framework for authorising our covert investigation activities. We have policies and procedures in place.

Our arrangements are independently monitored and inspected for the Office of Surveillance Commissioners . We follow the Scottish Government's RIP(S)A codes of practice and maintain a register showing where authorisation has been granted.


You can complain to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal  if you are aggrieved at any of our activities under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000.

Page last updated: 10/10/2018
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