Council used anti-terror powers to spy on paperboys!

December 7th, 2008 - 1:05 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 7 (ANI): Council bosses in Cambridgeshire, UK, used anti-terrorism laws to spy on paperboys to investigate whether a village newsagent had obtained work permits for them.

Cambridgeshire County Council bosses used undercover officers to scout whether eight children delivering papers in Melbourn, Cambs had work permits.

The council used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to target the former postmistress Rashmi Solanki and her husband Dips, who run the local shop.

The couple received a six-month conditional discharge at Cambridge Magistrates” Court for employing delivery boys without a valid permit after what they claimed was a “mix-up” over paperwork.

The campaigners have accused the council of acting like a “jumped up version of the A-Team.”

Mrs Solanki said that she only learnt in court that an officer had been watching her shop from a car across the road.

“It’’s like something out of a film,” the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

“Who do they think they are? They should only do such things for a serious crime. We”re innocent people trying to make an honest living,” she added.

The court heard that while that applications had been sent to the children’’s school for approval some had not been signed.

“It was a complete waste of everyone’’s time and came out of confusion over paperwork,” said Mrs Solanki.

“At the end of the day it could have all been easily sorted out if the council had just spoken to us,” she added. (ANI)

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