KIRKLEES Council has assured residents they aren’t being spied on for trivial matters.
Yesterday the Home Secretary ordered a review of council surveillance powers.
Some local authorities film secretly to expose crimes such as rogue trading and fly-tipping.
However, some have used surveillance to catch people committing less serious offences such as dog fouling.
A Kirklees Council spokesman claimed yesterday that the council used its powers responsibly.
He said: “The cameras managed by our Highways and Transportation Service are not used for offences such as dog fouling as these are considered minor.
“If the offence later escalated – for example if the dog fouling was a frequent occurrence and becoming serious – the CCTV team may look into this as part of their investigation.”
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith yesterday ordered a review of the use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).
She said: “Our country has a proud tradition of individual freedom. The Government has absolutely no interest in spying on law-abiding people going about their everyday lives.
“I don’t want to see RIPA powers used to target people for putting their bins out on the wrong day or for dog fouling offences.”
RIPA came into force in 2000 to allow public bodies to fight serious crime and terrorism. It allows for the use of spy cameras, informers and phone-tapping.
Several high-profile abuses of the law have brought it into disrepute. These include West Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire using motion-activated cameras on lampposts and inside tin cans to find people putting out their bins early.
Guildford Council in Surrey used a secret test purchaser to see if a nursery was breaching its planning permission by selling potted plants.