Surveillance operations are essential for criminal investigations and information collection required to develop intelligence. However, covert and clandestine methods may be neither appropriate nor necessary and, if used, can have associated risks. Surveillance is suitable only for those types of investigations where information of comparable investigative value cannot be obtained by other less intrusive means and is permitted only when reasonable suspicion of criminal activity has been established. Law enforcement agencies should employ surveillance methods only where they can be justified in accordance with principles and operational protocols established by policy.
These documents provide general principles for conducting surveillance operations and establishing internal control processes and procedures to ensure the protection of individuals’ civil rights and to ensure the efficiency and the effectiveness of surveillance operations.