A COUNCILLOR has criticised the Government for making it harder for local authorities to spy on residents.
The Home Office has introduced new rules which mean councils can only use CCTV if a magistrate agrees it is necessary to prevent serious crime.
Kirklees Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan believes the change will make life easier for people who take part in anti-social behaviour such as fly-tipping.
He said yesterday: “The use of CCTV has had a massive impact in tackling anti-social behaviour and making our streets safer.
“It has also made it easier to catch fly-tippers.
“The Government has added an extra layer of bureaucracy which stops the council from doing what communities want us to do.”
The council’s Labour Cabinet yesterday voted to bring in a new surveillance policy following the Government changes.
Kirklees used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) seven times last year.
Covert surveillance was authorised to investigate four problems of anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance in 2010.
Kirklees also carried out two covert investigations into fly-tipping and one into the operation of an unregistered illegal food business at a private house.
None of the operations is ongoing.
The use of covert human intelligence sources was not authorised by Kirklees at all last year.