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Council uses terrorist snooping powers on 900 members of the public

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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.

(Article continues below)

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 d v e r t i s e m e n t

A Walsall town hall spokesman said: ‘The council occasionally receives allegations of inappropriate employee behaviour among its 13,500-strong workforce.

Full article here

This article was posted: Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 3:03 am

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