We have a statutory obligation to inspect the use of investigatory powers as part of our oversight. At IPCO we therefore have a dedicated Inspectorate to oversee the use of investigatory powers by public authorities.

The Inspectorate is divided into three teams focusing on different areas of oversight:

  • the use of the powers by the UK’s intelligence community, Ministry of Defence and other intercepting agencies such as the National Crime Agency;
  • other public authorities’ use of communications data; and
  • use by other public authorities of surveillance, covert human intelligence sources and property interference powers.

Each team is led by a Chief Inspector. Together they ensure that we are adopting similar practices and applying consistent standards of scrutiny across all our oversight work.

Organisations may be inspected by more than one team at multiple visits each year when looking at the use of different investigatory powers. Each of these visits constitutes one inspection.

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