Venue: Spencer room
Contact: Susie Blood
Declarations of Interest
any declarations of interest.
no Declarations of Interest received at this point in the meeting.
The minutes of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel held on 17 November 2022 and 15 December 2022 were submitted and approved as a correct record.
The Interim Head of
Strategy, Information and Governance, Ann-Marie Johnstone will be in attenance
to provide the panel with an update on the Surveilance Policy.
The Chair welcomed The
The Interim head of service outlined that the Regulation of
Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) is the law governing the use of
surveillance techniques by public authorities, including local authorities.
was enacted as part of a suite of legislation flowing from the Human Rights Act
1997. The Act requires that when public authorities need to use covert
techniques to obtain information about someone, they only do so if surveillance
is necessary, proportionate, and compatible with human rights.
Act and supporting guidance set out a prescribed process that the Council must
comply with if it deems that it is necessary to exercise its powers under RIPA.
Public Authorities, there is an option to exercise powers under RIPA, where it
meets the tests of necessity, proportionality and combability
with the Human Rights Act, in relation to the following suspected offences:
· a suspected offence
could result in a custodial sentence of more than 6 months,
where it is suspected that alcohol or cigarettes are being sold to children,
approval was given by a magistrate, covert surveillance can then be
undertaken. The Council has not
exercised its powers under RIPA since 2019.
Interim Head of service stated that the Council has in place a Surveillance
Policy which sets out how the Council would process an application under
RIPA. This policy is reviewed by the
Executive Member for Finance and Governance on an annual basis. It was last
reviewed in December 2022.
policy applies to all overt and covert surveillance undertaken by or on behalf
of the Council. The policy includes not only RIPA based surveillance but also
defines the grounds on which the Council would consider that it has legitimate
reasons to conduct surveillance for grounds other than RIPA and the processes
that must be complied
with before any surveillance can be undertaken.
The Surveillance policy identifies that the Council may determine it has
a need to carry out covert surveillance to progress investigations outside of
the RIPA framework, where (i) while significant, the
matters under investigation may not typically result in criminal proceedings,
or (ii) the potential criminal offence(s) under investigation are likely to
attract a penalty below the RIPA threshold.
of such instances include but are not limited to:
· suspected benefit
· children at risk as
court orders are not being respected;
· serious cases of
anti-social behaviour; or
· contractors failing to
carry out contracted works.
The policy applies to all Council employees and any
other party undertaking surveillance on behalf of the Council by contract.
officer outlined that the information on the use of RIPA is also reported to
Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee on an annual basis as part of the Senior
Information Responsible Officer (SIRO) report.
Following the presentation, the head of service advised that the council has used the ... view the full minutes text for item 22/30
is asked to consider the draft terms of reference for the review and discuss
advised that following discussion with the service area, the review of the museum
service would be deferred and included within the work programme
for the next municipal year.
Services Officer will provide an update on the Off
road bikes report.
Democratic services officer presented the final draft report on off road bikes.
were pleased to hear of the good work being undertaken by Cleveland police and
of the draft recommendations, the panel wished to include an additional recommendation
relating to planning, to ensure the police are included in pre planning of new
estates. After a discussion with the Head of Planning, the panel were informed that Cleveland Police’s Security by design
officer is involved in planning applications both at pre application stage and
when the application is submitted.
seeking clarification, the following recommendations were agreed:
That greater awareness is made to councillors
and the general public on the dangers of off road bikes. The panel recommend
that all ward councillors are provided with Cleveland
police’s crimestoppers/ off road bike posters to
promote within their community and social media sites.
That Cleveland police provide the posters to the
Council’s stronger community team so that these can be placed on social media
sites and within the lovemiddlesbrough magazine.
That the excellent partnership work with Cleveland
Police and the Council continue and that the panel receive an update on
Operation Endurance/ Edmondson 6 months after recommendations have been
That the recommendations of the report be agreed.
That the draft report be submitted to the Overview and
Scrutiny Board for approval before being submitted to Executive for endorsement.
Chair's OSB Update
Chair will provide a verbal update on the Overview and Scrutiny Board on 12
provided a verbal update on the discussions raised at the overview and scrutiny
board on 12 January 2023.
AGREED- That the update be noted.
Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.
advised that the February meeting would be cancelled and the next meeting of the
panel would take place on Thursday 23 March 2023.