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Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000

Authorisation of surveillance and human intelligence sources

Section 10:  Authorisation of intrusive surveillance

38.This section deals with authorisations for intrusive surveillance. Such authorisations may only be granted by chief constables in the police forces.

39.By virtue of subsection (2), intrusive surveillance authorisations cannot be granted unless specific criteria are satisfied, namely that the chief constable is satisfied that:

  • the authorisation is necessary for the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime (which is defined in section 31(6)); and

  • the authorised activity is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by it.

40.An additional factor which must be taken into account is specified in subsection (3). The chief constable must be satisfied that the information which it is thought necessary to obtain by the authorised conduct could not reasonably be obtained by other means.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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