FOI Request - Covert Surveillance

Request 101000238057

How many people are currently under covert surveillance by Moray Council?

If possible, could this information be broken down into categories which specify the reason why someone is being watched by the council?

Response 23-04-2014

DS and CHIS authorisations are not specified only in terms of who is under surveillance. An authorisation may be directed at an activity at a particular location, which may involve an unknown number of people. For this reason, it is not possible to provide an answer to any query seeking the number of people under investigation at any point in time.

If the information was able to be produced, it is considered that  the information sought would relate to current criminal investigations and if disclosed would be likely to prejudice substantially the prevention or detection of crime and the prosecution of offenders.  Therefore, the information requested is exempt information under Section 35 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. The information is also exempt in terms of s34(1) in that it relates to investigations conducted by the local authority which in the circumstances may lead to a decision by the local authority to make a report to the procurator fiscal to enable it to be determined whether criminal proceedings should be instituted.

The exemptions are subject to a public interest test. The Council considers that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.

Information on previous RIPSA authorisations is published in committee reports, with the latest one at

http://www.moray.gov.uk/minutes/data/PR20140415/Item%2011%20-%20RIPSA%202014.pdf

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