Surveillance: Local Authorities

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

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Photo of Jacqui Lait Jacqui Lait Shadow Minister, Communities and Local Government

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her policy is on whether local authorities should use directed surveillance powers to monitor dog fouling; and if she will make a statement.

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

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 ('RIPA') requires that the use of any covert investigatory techniques must be necessary and proportionate to what the relevant public authority seeks to achieve. It is a matter for each authority to determine what is proportionate in the circumstances. All authorisations must on request be made available for scrutiny to the independent Commissioners established under RIPA. In the case of local authorities' use of directed surveillance, oversight is undertaken by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners.

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