Clause 61 - Power to require name and address

Part of Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 25 January 2005.

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Photo of David Ruffley David Ruffley Opposition Whip (Commons) 4:45, 25 January 2005

I shall not detain the Committee too long. My hon. Friend the Member for Ribble Valley touched on important issues of privacy and human rights. On the question of surveillance—that is, in effect, what is being suggested—I was advised by a senior police officer from Suffolk constabulary last Friday that he cannot post officers outside addresses where he thinks there is a mischief without a warrant. He cannot send an officer there, on the grounds that that may be a breach of human rights and privacy. That, apparently, is not some strange, arcane legal loophole, and it is a serious issue.  

The Minister referred to human rights; it would be useful to get clarification on that point, because I would have thought that one means of policing the new regime would be to have officers using a cheap and easy-to-use digital camera to apprehend the offenders.