UK Daily Mail
Saturday, July 12, 2008
A council has carried out more than 900 surveillance operations on staff and members of the public using a law introduced to fight terrorism.
One employee off work with a back injury was allegedly accused of lifting furniture out of a van and taken to a disciplinary hearing.
he allegation was dropped after it emerged snoopers had mistaken a delivery man for him. The same individual is understood to have been monitored when he went swimming to aid his recovery.
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Walsall Council said the vast majority of its 916 surveillance operations carried out under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 involved alleged benefit fraudsters, anti-social behaviour or trading standards infringements.
But Councillor Albert Griffiths, the cabinet member for finance and personnel, admitted there had been at least five instances where employees suspected of ‘pulling a sickie’ had been spied on.
The employee accused of unloading furniture declined to comment because he still works for the council, despite being off sick since 2005 with a lower-back problem.
A Walsall town hall spokesman said: ‘The council occasionally receives allegations of inappropriate employee behaviour among its 13,500-strong workforce.
This article was posted: Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 3:03 am