Daily Mail
April 28, 2008

Surveillance powers designed to track terrorists are being deployed by councils to crack down on littering, dog fouling and planning law breaches, a survey reveals.

Its findings expose the vast scale of Big Brother spying by town halls and brought urgent demands for “root and branch” reforms to curb the fast-growing snooping culture.

Some councils have used the sweeping powers granted by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) more than 100 times in the last year to follow and watch residents or monitor their calls – often while dealing with the most minor of suspected offences.

Their activities emerged weeks after the Daily Mail revealed Poole council in Dorset had spied on a family because it wrongly suspected the parents of abusing rules on school catchment areas.

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