It's emerged today that Wandsworth Council have used abused their terrorism powers to the most absurd ends.
For example. RIPA and terrorism powers have been used (over 300 times) by the Borough in the past 4 years, on
Not only is Wandsworth the most watched Borough in London, with more CCTV than anyone else; the council also spies on specific individuals an alarming number of times each year.
These powers are meant to be used sparingly in serious cases.
When councils use laws meant for terrorists and serious criminals to investigate parking or council benefits, they violate the logic behind the granting of such draconian powers and harm the trust we all ought to be able to have in law enforcement.
But worst of all, nobody will be punished for this. As is obvious from the article, nobody in the Borough authorities seems embarrassed about using post 9/11 tools meant to protect us from the worst of existential threats in pursuit of age-old, relatively minor problems – indeed, they boast of it. They'll go on using these powers in this way. Bureaucrats love gaining more powers. Once they have them, they rarely give them up, and use them in ways never meant or envisaged by those granting them. Unaccountable, it seems, and without restraint, these cut-price James Bond wannabes will go on persecuting people in Wandsworth for the foreseeable future.
Sad, but not surprising. And good on the local newspaper for reporting it.
By Alex Deane