Doncaster council spies targeted shops’ under-age sales

Doncaster's  Civic Offices.
Doncaster's Civic Offices.

Doncaster Council was given permission for secret spying operations five times last year, it has been revealed.

Documents which go before councillors on the authority’s audit committee reveal officials used covert surveillance on three occasions in the borough.

And on two occasions the tactics were used to investigate the sale of counterfeit goods.

The council uses the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to conduct covert surveillance to investigate matters it has responsibility to take action against.

The report which goes before councillors at a meeting at the Civic Offices on waterdale next week said only brief details of the operations were being given in to avoid prejudicing the on-going cases.

It added magistrates hadnot refused any of the council’s applications under the surveillance laws.

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 was introduced in response to the Human Rights Act 1998 to ensure that local authorities could continue lawfully to carry out covert surveillance.

The Government also set up the office of surveillance commissionaires, an agency which regularly inspects local authorities.