Friday, 11 April 2008
Posted by Dave
Five years ago, if you'd have asked me to chime into the anti-RIPA lobby, I'd have laughed it off. The UK needed new legislation, and was and is a country of high priority to islamist terrorists.
A news article at the Daily Telegraph reports that Poole Borough Council in Dorset is using RIPA to enable it to carry out full-time covert surveillance of a family. Why? They might be lying about where live, so that Little Jonny can go to a specific school.
This is the log of the covert surveillance - you'd hope even Poole police have better things to do, so this must be from a private investgations outfit that the council pays for.
Well I'm not initially against a local council having some ability to investigate. Unusual problems like fraud or vandalism relating to local housing or roads or parks, these could at some point require an investigation. But this isn't that. This is about where kids might go to school. And you know what? You could probably make a management decision on that by carrying out, um, some interviews. Or writing a legal letter. Or knocking on the neighbours' doors to check the family live where they say they do.
Poole Borough Council were unable to reach a decision about a non-threatening non-criminal non-terrorist problem, and have turned to covert surveillance to make that decision easier. That's bad decision-making, laziness, a misunderstanding of what covert surveillance is best used for, and of course being a local council, it's an utter WASTE OF MONEY.