The number of council officials with the power to enter homes in South Tyneside is too high, say civil rights campaigners.
South Tyneside Council employs 61 officers who have powers of entry which enable them to barge into homes and businesses across the borough.
This covers regulatory roles such environmental health and trading standards officers.
However, campaigners at Big Brother Watch (BBW) – a civil liberties and privacy group which obtained the figures – believe the public has been left ‘at the mercy of pen-pushers who can enter our homes as they please’.
But council bosses say that it’s very rare for an officer to gain entry to a property by force, with the normal procedure being to notify occupiers first.
A South Tyneside Council spokesman said:
“Powers of entry are set out by Parliament when enacting legislation and are essential to enable councils to carry out their statutory functions.
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