More than 1,000 covert surveillance operations are being launched every month to investigate petty offences such as dog fouling, under-age smoking and breaches of planning regulations.
No, no,. these are very special powers, only to be used in times of grave crisis:
When Ripa was passed in 2000, only nine organisations, such as the police and security services, were allowed to use it, but that number has risen to 792, including 474 councils.
In 2006, more than 1,000 applications per day were being made to use Ripa powers. The Act allows councils to authorise surveillance, obtain phone records and details of email traffic from personal computers (though not their contents) and obtain details of websites individuals are logging on to.
No, really, they are very special powers only to be used in times of grave crisis.