Using your intelligence: a study into the consequence of the restriction or removal of local authorities from the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 framework

Williams, Samantha L. (2010) Using your intelligence: a study into the consequence of the restriction or removal of local authorities from the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 framework. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The focus of this research is in the area of the examination of the extent that both covert surveillance and intelligence – led investigative tools are utilised by Local Authorities (LAs) in respect of the investigation of Housing and Council Tax Benefit fraud. Such a study is important in order to ascertain the extent that the restriction or removal of LAs from the Regulation of Investigatory Powers 2000 (RIPA) framework would impact on investigations and sanctions. The research approach adopted in this dissertation consisted of a broad review of literature on surveillance and intelligence: led investigations, in conjunction with the collection and analysis of empirical data. The latter is based on a survey of LAs covering eight regions within England, using questionnaires. The findings from this research provide evidence that surveillance is indeed a little used investigative tool, with no direct correlation between the use of surveillance and the number of sanctions achieved. It is the perception however, of the impact of the restriction or removal of LAs from the RIPA framework that does not lend support to what the data reveals. The main conclusions drawn from this study are that through a combination of technological innovation and government strategy, LAs are equipped with sufficient tools to successfully investigate benefit fraud. This dissertation recommends however that any attempt to restrict of remove LAs from the RIPA framework is rigorously defended on the basis that there is no single way of combating fraud, and reliance cannot be placed on one approach only.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:16
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/877

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