Home Department written question – answered on 15th October 2008.

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases involving alleged abuse of intrusive surveillance powers by (a) local councils and (b) central Government-controlled bodies were investigated by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in each year since it was established; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Crime & Security)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given by the then Minister of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend Mr. McNulty, to Mr. Pickles on 22 July 2008, Hansard, column 1374W. It is not the Investigatory Powers Tribunal's practice to publish detailed breakdowns by type or body of complaint, in order to preserve the confidence of people using it that their complaint will be handled confidentially. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal is independent of Government and subject to statutory rules which prevent it from disclosing information to an extent, or in a manner, that is contrary to the public interest. Only law enforcement and intelligences agencies and certain detention authorities can conduct intrusive surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Act 2000, but any valid complaint would be investigated by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

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