Mrs Spelman's intervention was made in response to a report from The TaxPayers' Alliance's Big Brother Watch that found that up to 20,000 council officers are permitted to enter private property without needing either a warrant or an accompanying police officer. The Shadow Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities commented:
"Thanks to Labour, there are now over 1,000 powers of entry that allow state officials to barge inside your home. Gordon Brown pledged to curtail them, but yet again, he has failed to deliver on his empty rhetoric. The police need powers to tackle crime, but there is a far weaker case for town halls to have these powers, especially given the abuse of surveillance powers by local authorities. Conservatives will cut back these unnecessary powers of the municipal officials to enter homes, starting off with abolishing council tax inspectors’ rights of entry and reigning back in the over-zealous town hall bin police.”
“Once, a man’s home was his castle. Today the Big Brother state wants to inspect, regulate and standardise the inside of our homes. Councils are dishing out powers of entry to officers within their council for their own ease, without giving due thought to the public’s right to privacy and the potential for abuse. There needs to be a much closer eye kept on the number of officers granted the right to barge into private premises without a warrant.”
Go to the Big Brother Watch website for more.