Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Counter-terrorism review could halt local authority “bin spying” powers

Powers for local authorities to conduct Waste Compositional Analysis (WCA) could be removed from local authorities, following a review of counter-terrorism powers.

According to the review commissioned by Home Secretary Theresa May: “Local authorities have been criticised for using covert surveillance in less serious investigations including, for example, dog fouling or checking an individual resides in a school catchment area.”

These “less serious investigations” could include WCA. The review proposed to restrict local authority use of surveillance powers, which were awarded under the regulation of investigatory powers Act, to only those cases which would constitute prison sentences of six months or more.

According to the review, a threshold of six months would “exclude the use of RIPA techniques for more trivial offences.”

However, Defra secretary Caroline Spelman has already warned local authorities that WCA is “no longer Defra practice” following a letter which was sent to local authorities in July.

Spelman’s letter explained: “I would like to take this opportunity to remind colleagues in local government that the guidance cited in the article on waste compositional studies, Waste Compositional Analysis, Guidance for Local Authorities, is now outdated and is no longer current guidance by Defra.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.