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 if she will instruct the Office of Surveillance Commissioners to assess whether surveillance powers have been used by local authorities to generate income from fines.

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

The Office of Surveillance Commissioners was established by statute to provide independent oversight of public authorities using covert investigatory powers. It is not appropriate for Ministers to issue instructions to the Office of Surveillance Commissioners. Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 local authorities may use directed surveillance for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or disorder providing it is necessary and proportionate for them to do so.

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