Council under fire for use of spy law
A COUNCIL has been criticised for the controversial use of “spying laws” which allow them to put residents under surveillance.
South Holland District Council used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 27 times in two years, with neighbouring councils in South Kesteven and Boston using them just four and seven times respectively.
Out of the 27 times it used the powers, 26 instances were for investigating anti-social behaviour, with the last one for a fraud matter.
No prosecutions were reported by the council as a re- sult of using RIPA.
Campaign group Big Brother Watch said that the figures were “particularly high” for a council of that size.
Campaign director Dylan Sharpe said: “It’s all very well councils saying they are going out and tackling problems but these are innocent people put under surveillance for all kinds of purposes.”
In reply, head of legal and member services Jim Scarsbrook said: “Although we cannot say why we have used the powers more than some other authorities, we consider our use of the powers to be reasonable and justified.”