Then and Now

In answer to a question from Christopher Price MP, Home Secretary Merlyn Rees said that under the control of the Metropolitan Police there are nine closed-circuit television cameras on fixed sites used mainly for crowd and traffic control.

Mr Rees added: "The Home Office has asked chief officers to satisfy themselves that the use of surveillance equipment is justified in all circumstances and is authorised at an appropriately senior level in the force. Chief officers are well aware of the sensitivity of material obtained in this way’.

Hansard 27/11/1978

Surveillance not to be used to catch litter droppers

Council leaders have been warned this week to stop using surveillance equipment to crack down on “trivial” matters such as “dog fouling and littering”.

In a letter sent to councils this week, Sir Simon Milton, Conservative chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA) called on authorities to undertake an urgent review of surveillance operations carried out under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).

The letter stated that powers in the Act should only be used after “careful consideration” and that the required operations are “necessary and proportionate to prevent or detect a criminal offence”, as stipulated in the Act

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