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Departmental Staff (Powers Of Entry)

Volume 972: debated on Tuesday 30 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what training is given to officers in his Department and in public bodies ultimately answerable to him, who have powers of search and entry, with regard to surveillance techniques and methods of gaining entry into business premises and private homes.

The officials in my Department who have power to enter premises, subject to statutory conditions, were listed in the reply to my hon. Friend's question of 25 October 1979. They are given no training in surveillance techniques or methods of gaining entry to premises. The officers listed are principally concerned with installations and equipment and it is difficult to envisage circumstances in which they would need to enter private homes.So far as the public bodies ultimately responsible to me are concerned, I shall ask the chairmen of the Electricity Council, the British Gas Council, the National Coal Board, and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority to write to my hon. Friend giving him the information that he requires.