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Councils 'snooping' on public

A new report shows local authorities have been using anti-terror surveillance powers to investigate minor offences like dog fouling and families claiming to be in school catchment areas.

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Terror laws used by councils for trivial investigations

Local authorities used powers designed to combat terrorism to pursue cases of dog fouling, fly tipping and breaching smoking bans, according to a new report. The civil liberties group Big Brother Watch said 9,607 surveillance operations had been carried out by councils, often for trivial offences.

Councils used terror laws to investigate dog fouling Credit: PA

The report showed 26 councils used the powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to spy on suspected cases of dog fouling, and 7 authorities investigated suspected breaches of the smoking ban.

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