Part III of the Police Act 1997 (later amended by RIPA)

This defines property interference as entry on or interference with property or wireless telegraphy.

Property interference:

  • ┬áIs lawful if properly authorised under the Act
  • Is only available to designated law enforcement agencies
  • May only be authorised if the property interference is necessary to prevent or detect serious crime and the person granting it believes the property interference is proportionate to what it seeks to achieve
  • Can only be authorised by senior officers designated for the purpose by law and must then be notified to a Surveillance Commissioner
  • Must (unless urgent) be given prior approval by a Surveillance Commissioner if the property interference involves a dwelling, a hotel bedroom, an office, or might result in the acquisition of matters subject to legal privilege, confidential personal information, or journalistic material
  • Is valid for three months and can be renewed
  • Is valid for 72 hours if granted urgently and must be renewed if the property interference is to continue