A complaint has been sent to a Government watchdog over claims about Cleveland Police’s use of legislation to get phone records.
The Police Federation of England and Wales has passed on a complaint about Cleveland Police’s use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
The information has been passed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
It has been claimed that the force accessed phone information of a member of the police federation, a solicitor working for the federation and three journalists.
A spokesman for Cleveland Police said: “The acquisition and disclosure of communications data is governed by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
“Cleveland Police applies the act and relevant guidance when determining whether to make use of various RIPA authorities in support of the investigation of criminal offences.
“Each year the Interception of Communication Commissioners Office examine our compliance with the act.
“We are aware that certain individuals have provided information to the Police Federation of England and Wales, through the local Federation Chairman, regarding their opinion of how Cleveland Police applies the law and guidance relating to RIPA.
“The PFEW have passed this information to the IPCC who will in due course determine their next steps.”