June 1, 2008
One council that firmly believes in using surveillance powers to the fullest is Poole, on the South Coast.
Officials authorisied spying operations to detemine whether fishermen were illegally gathering shellfish in the town’s harbour and to try to find out who had damaged a barrier.
Then the council decided that an Act of Parliament designed to defeat terrorism should be used to see if a couple had been cheating the school catchment system. Tim Joyce and Jenny Paton and their children were put under surveillance for more than two weeks before being asked by Poole Council to “come in for a chat”.
The council had launched the spying operation because they wrongly suspected that the couple had lied about living in the catchment area for Lilliput First School to get their child a place.
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