Lawful Business Monitoring
Dated: 06 Dec 2011
NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED
POLICY TITLE: Lawful Business Monitoring
OWNING DIRECTORATE: Corporate and Strategic Services
AUTHOR: Chief Superintendent, Professional Standards Department
CONTACT DETAILS: 01661868919
EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT: Complete
MOPI ASSESSMENT: Not applicable
DESCRIPTION OF POLICY:
Northumbria Police recognises that a Lawful Business Monitoring policy has the potential to engage the Articles of the Human Rights Act 1998, namely:
Article 6 - Right to a fair trial in criminal and civil proceedings.
Article 8 - Right to private and family life.
Article 10- Freedom of expression.
Article 11- Right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association.
However, the existence of these Articles does not prevent the imposition of lawful formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties on the exercise of these rights by citizens, including Northumbria Police staff, provided it is necessary for the prevention of crime or disorder, for the prevention of the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for the protection of the reputation or rights of others.
The Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communication) Regulations 2000 allow for lawful interception of private business communication systems. This includes telephone monitoring, e-mail or Lotus Notes monitoring and internet access.
Monitoring and recording may only take place for legitimate business reasons.
The criteria are:
To prevent or detect crime
To establish the existence of facts
To ascertain compliance with regulatory or self regulatory practices or procedures which are:
- Applicable to the system controller in the carrying on of their business, or
- Applicable to another person in the carrying on of their business where that person is supervised by the system controller in respect of those practices or procedures.
To ascertain or demonstrate standards, quality control and training
In the interests of national security
To investigate or detect unauthorised use of the communication systems
To secure effective system operation.
In order to ensure the highest standards of professionalism and training, to ensure the highest standards of integrity and to prevent, investigate and detect criminal offences or the unauthorised use of Force communication systems, Northumbria Police reserves the right to record and monitor the use of Force communication systems.
Depending upon the outcome of the monitoring, Northumbria Police may:
Review standards of training or service delivery
Review local instructions, Force policy and/ or procedure
Issue suitable advice to area commands, departments, supervisors or individual staff
In some cases, consider or institute criminal or disciplinary proceedings.
Examples of Reasons to Monitor
Computer abuse – downloading of inappropriate material, unauthorised access to data, detection of viruses and excessive personal use
Quality control – to maintain standards of call handling
Training purposes – to assess training needs and ensure effective training has already been delivered
To ensure the effectiveness of the day to day operation of the Force communications systems
To establish the existence of facts – e.g. timing of calls to or from the organisation
To protect users from discrimination, harassment or defamation
To detect breaches of security or the Data Protection Act
Unethical use of the Force telephone systems.
SOURCE DOCUMENT: The Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communication) Regulations 2000
GROUPS AFFECTED: All officers/staff
ACCESS AND DISCLOSURE RESTRICTIONS: None