Councils Told: Stop Spying On The Public

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Updated:11:30, Monday June 23, 2008

Councils have been urged to stop using controversial surveillance powers for “trivial” offences.

CCTV not being used properlyBosses have been warned by the head of the Local Government Association (LGA) that they risk alienating the public for so-called snooping.

They may also be stripped of the right to use spying methods.

But Sir Simon Milton defended councils that used surveillance to tackle fly tippers, rogue traders and tax and benefit fraudsters.

There has been growing anger about the methods used by councils to probe minor crimes, such as dog fouling.

The powers were introduced under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act as part of the Government’s anti-terror drive but it is claimed some councils are abusing the powers.

Sir Simon has now written to every council in the country urging them to review their use of the Act.

“Parliament clearly intended that councils should use the new powers, and generally they are being used to respond to residents’ complaints about fly tippers, rogue traders and those defrauding the council tax or housing benefit system,” he wrote.

Figures released by councils under the Freedom of Information Act show that the telephone and email records of thousands of people have been accessed under the Act.

A sample of less than 10% of councils disclosed using spying techniques 1,343 times.

Sky’s political correspondent Niall Paterson said: “If councils continue to use their powers in this fashion they’ll soon find them being withdrawn – especially given the focus of late on our ‘surveillance society’.

“It certainly lends weight to David Davis’ by-election campaign against the abrogation of our privacy, even if there’s no one of any real importance to campaign against in Haltemprice and Howden.”

  1. to the people of ridgewood.who do you think who should be the next mayor.I hope some one we all like.and they look after the town workers.and have some care for them.they need that.it is time.thankyou tax people of rw.

  2. Oopps,
    Someone from UK posted this on the wrong Ridgewood site.

    This is not Ridgewood England.
    Sorry folks.

  3. 9:39 AM,

    You are such a wanna be.

    Doesn’t your mouth ever get tired of puckering to the ass cheeks of the self-important fools who pretend to be running our village?

  4. What the heck is “Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act “?

    I never heard of these people,
    David Davis? In Haltemprice?

  5. yes except for 338 the rest of these posts are stupid and posted by the local kiss ups … your council is going to be spying on you well your already a narc so of coarse you dont care the article shows the back lash in england against spy cameras which will happen here and the tax payer will get stuck with the bill

  6. This “item” has nothing to do with Ridgewood.

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