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The Daily Mail reports restrictions on the power of Town Halls to carry out surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. There will be a double check of approval from a magistrate and the power being limited to cases where the offence under investigation carries a custodial sentence.

The only exception will be undercover operations for underage sales of alcohol and tobacco. Is that offence, often inadvertent, necessarily worse than persistent dog fouling?

Offences such as using a false address to pretend you are in the catchment area for a good school will cease to be covered by the anti terrorism legislation.

The report says:

In reality, it will restrict councils to going after more serious criminals, such as benefit cheats, con-artists and industrial fly tippers.

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