Pickles welcomes investigation into council surveillance
Eric Pickles has backed calls for a comprehensive review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).
The A Legacy of Surveillance report from research group Big Brother Watch has recommended that an overhaul of the surveillance framework be conducted, regulating the powers of public authorities to investigate individuals through observation.
To ensure that these groups are held accountable for their use of RIPA, the research association has stated that public authorities should be legally required to publish how, when and to what outcome they employed surveillance powers.
Big Brother Watch has proposed that individuals should be notified following an instance of RIPA surveillance, with judicial authorisation for observations also being required by all public authorities.
Writing a foreword to the publication, secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles said: ‘We need robust accountability of all state bodies, not just local authorities, to ensure these state powers are not used without proper justification.’
Responding to the recommendations, Mehboob Khan, chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) safer and stronger communities board, said: ‘People quite rightly expect councils to tackle rogue traders, loan sharks and benefit fraudsters operating in their area.
These criminals have been caught and prosecuted using evidence gained from surveillance. Without these powers it would be much harder, and in some cases impossible, to bring offenders to justice.’
If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear. They keep us safe. Do something useful Pickles, take YOUR EXTREMELY gold plated pension and give someone on this planet a job.Colin Sowden. Local Gov. Scotland, Added: Wednesday, 22 August 2012 12:27 PM
Another case of Pickled trying to muscle in and use a sledgehammer to crack a nut that just needs common sense reasonable management and accountabilities. Tying enforcement teams to requiring the same authorisation as search authority is ludicrous in the extreme. Lets just catch these cheats that are stealing our taxes, anyone behaving legally has nothing to fear from anybody!Graham, Added: Wednesday, 22 August 2012 11:20 AM
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