Could we see council cops as Southend Council wants same search and seize powers as police?

Southend Standard: Could we see council cops as Southend Council wants same search and seize powers as police? Could we see council cops as Southend Council wants same search and seize powers as police?

COUNCIL cops could be created to search homes and seize cash as part of a crackdown on benefit cheats.

Southend Council wants to give its counter-fraud teams new powers so they can carry out investigations independently of police and other law enforcement agencies.

The new powers would enable council officers to execute search warrants and seize assets that could be the proceeds of crime.

The powers could be used to target benefit fraudsters, people illegally sub-letting council homes and even disabled blue badge scammers.

Martin Terry, leader of the council’s independent group, cautiously welcomed the plans.

He said: “It seems a bit draconian for council officers to be able to search people’s homes and my biggest concern is that at some point they get it wrong.

“But, in principle, I support this, if it is to seize back money from people who have genuinely defrauded the taxpayer.”

Council investigators currently need police with warrants to help them search residential or business addresses.

Under the new plans they would not need police back up.

The plans were revealed in a council audit report that also talks about expanding investigations to include properties run by South Essex Homes, which manages social housing for Southend Council.

The report stated: “The counter- fraud team’s working practices will be subject to a fundamental review.

“The intention is to provide training in premises searching and seizure so officers will be able to lead investigations independently of other law enforcement organisations, while providing opportunities to use cash seizure powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.”

It also stated staff would be trained as accredited financial investigators, so investigative orders to obtain financial accounts, solicitors’ records and other confidential information could be obtained in all fraud investigations. This would allow the council to apply for orders on assets suspected to be from the proceeds of crime.

The report added: “This will significantly enhance the team’s ability to deliver its services in preventing, detecting and deterring fraud and corruption in all areas of the council.”

Officers will also be trained in surveillance, and forensic computer investigation.

Southend Council operates a joint fraud team with Thurrock Council, under a deal due to end in March, led by David Kleinberg, 32, from Leigh.

Until February, he was a director of fraud investigation company HJK Associates, based in Leigh, set up by his dad, Howard, 60, and now run by his brother Robert, 40.

Comments (19)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:08am Wed 8 Jan 14

LastLaugh2 says...

Council Cr@ps, as they haven't the knowledge, the resources or the ability, other than to politely knock on a door, pathetic
Council Cr@ps, as they haven't the knowledge, the resources or the ability, other than to politely knock on a door, pathetic LastLaugh2
  • Score: 0

7:36am Wed 8 Jan 14

Democrat says...

No!!!!!!
No!!!!!! Democrat
  • Score: 19

7:42am Wed 8 Jan 14

supermadmax says...

I would prefer it if they spent more resources on street cleaning (which are always dirty) cheap leisure centres, and promoting / marketing the town.

I'm at very confused as to where all this money goes. The Audit Commission criticised Southend Borough Council as one of the worst 3 financially managed local authorities in England.
I would prefer it if they spent more resources on street cleaning (which are always dirty) cheap leisure centres, and promoting / marketing the town. I'm at very confused as to where all this money goes. The Audit Commission criticised Southend Borough Council as one of the worst 3 financially managed local authorities in England. supermadmax
  • Score: 22

7:43am Wed 8 Jan 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Joke, never happen
Joke, never happen Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: 2

8:57am Wed 8 Jan 14

jayman says...

NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers.

the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police.

Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents.

Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't.

I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement.

now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?
NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers. the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police. Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents. Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't. I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement. now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about? jayman
  • Score: 19

10:15am Wed 8 Jan 14

NatalieSayer says...

Pam Bath's at it again.
Pam Bath's at it again. NatalieSayer
  • Score: -2

10:19am Wed 8 Jan 14

rayleigh123 says...

Both the local and Essex councils are out sourcing everthing why not go the whole hog and get rid of the police and have council cops !!!

Much cheaper - you could also stick a ladder and a hose on the vehicle and get rid of the fire brigade - more savings.

Stick a first aid box in the glove box - no need for ambulances - even more savings.

.
Both the local and Essex councils are out sourcing everthing why not go the whole hog and get rid of the police and have council cops !!! Much cheaper - you could also stick a ladder and a hose on the vehicle and get rid of the fire brigade - more savings. Stick a first aid box in the glove box - no need for ambulances - even more savings. . rayleigh123
  • Score: -2

11:13am Wed 8 Jan 14

jayman says...

rayleigh123 wrote:
Both the local and Essex councils are out sourcing everthing why not go the whole hog and get rid of the police and have council cops !!!

Much cheaper - you could also stick a ladder and a hose on the vehicle and get rid of the fire brigade - more savings.

Stick a first aid box in the glove box - no need for ambulances - even more savings.

.
be careful not to give the Tories any ideas.
[quote][p][bold]rayleigh123[/bold] wrote: Both the local and Essex councils are out sourcing everthing why not go the whole hog and get rid of the police and have council cops !!! Much cheaper - you could also stick a ladder and a hose on the vehicle and get rid of the fire brigade - more savings. Stick a first aid box in the glove box - no need for ambulances - even more savings. .[/p][/quote]be careful not to give the Tories any ideas. jayman
  • Score: 3

11:25am Wed 8 Jan 14

Nebs says...

jayman wrote:
NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers.

the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police.

Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents.

Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't.

I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement.

now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?
I certainly would not want the councillors briefed on the comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things for anyone who is not breaking the law.
However for those who are breaking the law their comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things would be in the public domain after the court case so everyone would know.
[quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers. the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police. Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents. Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't. I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement. now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?[/p][/quote]I certainly would not want the councillors briefed on the comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things for anyone who is not breaking the law. However for those who are breaking the law their comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things would be in the public domain after the court case so everyone would know. Nebs
  • Score: -2

2:05pm Wed 8 Jan 14

emcee says...

This cannot be allowed to happen.
OK, so benefit fraud must be stopped but that is why we have a police force. It is part of the police's job to investigate ANY type of fraud. The council should concentrate on benefit fraud prevention by creating a system that does not allow fraud to happen in the first place.

By allowing "civillian" council staff any police powers undermines the principles upon which this country was built and will be the start of a downward slide into coorporate policing.
The police can only carry out their job by the consent of the governed and they must also swear allegence to the Queen. Neither which should be made light of and neither of which will apply to glorified council office workers.
This cannot be allowed to happen. OK, so benefit fraud must be stopped but that is why we have a police force. It is part of the police's job to investigate ANY type of fraud. The council should concentrate on benefit fraud prevention by creating a system that does not allow fraud to happen in the first place. By allowing "civillian" council staff any police powers undermines the principles upon which this country was built and will be the start of a downward slide into coorporate policing. The police can only carry out their job by the consent of the governed and they must also swear allegence to the Queen. Neither which should be made light of and neither of which will apply to glorified council office workers. emcee
  • Score: 12

4:46pm Wed 8 Jan 14

John Bull 40 says...

It seems most people on here support fraud, if you are claiming any support
the council already know most of your private details anyway.
It seems most people on here support fraud, if you are claiming any support the council already know most of your private details anyway. John Bull 40
  • Score: 1

5:57pm Wed 8 Jan 14

LastLaugh,,, says...

Nebs wrote:
jayman wrote:
NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers.

the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police.

Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents.

Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't.

I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement.

now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?
I certainly would not want the councillors briefed on the comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things for anyone who is not breaking the law.
However for those who are breaking the law their comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things would be in the public domain after the court case so everyone would know.
Having read your comments over a couple of years can I ask; have you ever considered going to live in China or North Korea?

It would be paradise for you...you could even provide your own monogrammed shackles.
[quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers. the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police. Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents. Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't. I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement. now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?[/p][/quote]I certainly would not want the councillors briefed on the comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things for anyone who is not breaking the law. However for those who are breaking the law their comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things would be in the public domain after the court case so everyone would know.[/p][/quote]Having read your comments over a couple of years can I ask; have you ever considered going to live in China or North Korea? It would be paradise for you...you could even provide your own monogrammed shackles. LastLaugh,,,
  • Score: 0

6:00pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Nebs says...

LastLaugh,,, wrote:
Nebs wrote:
jayman wrote:
NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers.

the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police.

Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents.

Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't.

I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement.

now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?
I certainly would not want the councillors briefed on the comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things for anyone who is not breaking the law.
However for those who are breaking the law their comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things would be in the public domain after the court case so everyone would know.
Having read your comments over a couple of years can I ask; have you ever considered going to live in China or North Korea?

It would be paradise for you...you could even provide your own monogrammed shackles.
No, I prefer the rights afforded to law abiding citizens in this country.
[quote][p][bold]LastLaugh,,,[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers. the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police. Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents. Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't. I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement. now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?[/p][/quote]I certainly would not want the councillors briefed on the comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things for anyone who is not breaking the law. However for those who are breaking the law their comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things would be in the public domain after the court case so everyone would know.[/p][/quote]Having read your comments over a couple of years can I ask; have you ever considered going to live in China or North Korea? It would be paradise for you...you could even provide your own monogrammed shackles.[/p][/quote]No, I prefer the rights afforded to law abiding citizens in this country. Nebs
  • Score: 3

9:27pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Living the La Vida Legra says...

Sounds a great idea I'm fed up with the spongers taking money from front line services ( Nurses Police free meals for the Elderly Ect,, )
I work in social housing sector and I always blows me away they have no money for gas but they have a IPhone and a LCD TV how on Earth dose that work?? Really!!!!
Sounds a great idea I'm fed up with the spongers taking money from front line services ( Nurses Police free meals for the Elderly Ect,, ) I work in social housing sector and I always blows me away they have no money for gas but they have a IPhone and a LCD TV how on Earth dose that work?? Really!!!! Living the La Vida Legra
  • Score: -7

9:30am Thu 9 Jan 14

jayman says...

Living the La Vida Legra wrote:
Sounds a great idea I'm fed up with the spongers taking money from front line services ( Nurses Police free meals for the Elderly Ect,, )
I work in social housing sector and I always blows me away they have no money for gas but they have a IPhone and a LCD TV how on Earth dose that work?? Really!!!!
With an attitude like that, may I suggest you find an alternative job. Perhaps working in the Tory central office or even a position at the daily mail. This would make use of your 'world view'.

you are applying a 'marked identity' to social housing tenants. you are basing your social conclusions on material ownership. You are applying basic industrial society 'Othering' in a contemporary consumer society. You make the observation of material ownership but give no consideration to the concept that the high-end material possessions could be the remnants of 'better times' and therefore 'all they have'.

If you want to know what the all the problems of modern society looks like if it had a singular metaphysical form. Find the nearest full length mirror and gaze upon it for several hours...
[quote][p][bold]Living the La Vida Legra[/bold] wrote: Sounds a great idea I'm fed up with the spongers taking money from front line services ( Nurses Police free meals for the Elderly Ect,, ) I work in social housing sector and I always blows me away they have no money for gas but they have a IPhone and a LCD TV how on Earth dose that work?? Really!!!![/p][/quote]With an attitude like that, may I suggest you find an alternative job. Perhaps working in the Tory central office or even a position at the daily mail. This would make use of your 'world view'. you are applying a 'marked identity' to social housing tenants. you are basing your social conclusions on material ownership. You are applying basic industrial society 'Othering' in a contemporary consumer society. You make the observation of material ownership but give no consideration to the concept that the high-end material possessions could be the remnants of 'better times' and therefore 'all they have'. If you want to know what the all the problems of modern society looks like if it had a singular metaphysical form. Find the nearest full length mirror and gaze upon it for several hours... jayman
  • Score: 2

9:38am Thu 9 Jan 14

jayman says...

Nebs wrote:
LastLaugh,,, wrote:
Nebs wrote:
jayman wrote:
NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers.

the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police.

Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents.

Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't.

I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement.

now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?
I certainly would not want the councillors briefed on the comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things for anyone who is not breaking the law.
However for those who are breaking the law their comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things would be in the public domain after the court case so everyone would know.
Having read your comments over a couple of years can I ask; have you ever considered going to live in China or North Korea?

It would be paradise for you...you could even provide your own monogrammed shackles.
No, I prefer the rights afforded to law abiding citizens in this country.
but the above story says that council officers would be 'investigating' within the realms of criminal law.

by the process of investigation. Guilt has not yet been established. It is for this reason that SBC or any other politically controlled entity should not have any influence in the investigation of criminal law, Furthermore i oppose the fact that we have politically affiliated police and crime commissioners.

the balance of justice should always have the fulcrum at the centre..
[quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LastLaugh,,,[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers. the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police. Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents. Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't. I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement. now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?[/p][/quote]I certainly would not want the councillors briefed on the comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things for anyone who is not breaking the law. However for those who are breaking the law their comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things would be in the public domain after the court case so everyone would know.[/p][/quote]Having read your comments over a couple of years can I ask; have you ever considered going to live in China or North Korea? It would be paradise for you...you could even provide your own monogrammed shackles.[/p][/quote]No, I prefer the rights afforded to law abiding citizens in this country.[/p][/quote]but the above story says that council officers would be 'investigating' within the realms of criminal law. by the process of investigation. Guilt has not yet been established. It is for this reason that SBC or any other politically controlled entity should not have any influence in the investigation of criminal law, Furthermore i oppose the fact that we have politically affiliated police and crime commissioners. the balance of justice should always have the fulcrum at the centre.. jayman
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Thu 9 Jan 14

LastLaugh,,, says...

Nebs wrote:
LastLaugh,,, wrote:
Nebs wrote:
jayman wrote:
NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers.

the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police.

Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents.

Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't.

I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement.

now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?
I certainly would not want the councillors briefed on the comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things for anyone who is not breaking the law.
However for those who are breaking the law their comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things would be in the public domain after the court case so everyone would know.
Having read your comments over a couple of years can I ask; have you ever considered going to live in China or North Korea?

It would be paradise for you...you could even provide your own monogrammed shackles.
No, I prefer the rights afforded to law abiding citizens in this country.
"rights afforded' = Privileges given! You are just a dyed in the wool sheep bleating to be controlled to the nth...next you will be posting for a cashless society where those who control the computer control what access people have to cash...Oh but wait a moment..
[quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LastLaugh,,,[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: NO! absolutely not. Southend council are not responsible enough to use such powers. the council should have the same powers as everyone else under civil law. Criminal law enforcement is and should remain a matter for the police. Council Powers to seize goods by force under acts of law or search peoples homes is a fundamentally bad idea. It is a breach of civil liberty and could be the start of a trickle effect in how much power local authorities have at infringing in the daily life and private life of residents. Southend council is controlled by a political entity. Would you want Tory councillors briefed on your comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things? I wouldn't. I'm all for the process of lawful investigation by use of limited power by local councils but not in the case of criminal law enforcement. now then... has anyone seen the councils spy car about?[/p][/quote]I certainly would not want the councillors briefed on the comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things for anyone who is not breaking the law. However for those who are breaking the law their comings and goings, financial status and ownership of things would be in the public domain after the court case so everyone would know.[/p][/quote]Having read your comments over a couple of years can I ask; have you ever considered going to live in China or North Korea? It would be paradise for you...you could even provide your own monogrammed shackles.[/p][/quote]No, I prefer the rights afforded to law abiding citizens in this country.[/p][/quote]"rights afforded' = Privileges given! You are just a dyed in the wool sheep bleating to be controlled to the nth...next you will be posting for a cashless society where those who control the computer control what access people have to cash...Oh but wait a moment.. LastLaugh,,,
  • Score: -2

9:42pm Fri 10 Jan 14

essex bad boy says...

This would allow the council to apply for orders on assets suspected to be from the proceeds of crime.

Does this mean that they will investigate SBC first? Then they will see that they rob everyone else to pay for their fancy cars homes and the like?

Perhaps if they used Westminster as a trial run to see if they can spot a thief? or that they will find that they are as bad as the crimes on the street but 10 times worse.
This would allow the council to apply for orders on assets suspected to be from the proceeds of crime. Does this mean that they will investigate SBC first? Then they will see that they rob everyone else to pay for their fancy cars homes and the like? Perhaps if they used Westminster as a trial run to see if they can spot a thief? or that they will find that they are as bad as the crimes on the street but 10 times worse. essex bad boy
  • Score: -1

5:44pm Sat 11 Jan 14

jolllyboy says...

Ridiculous. Councils have enough powers already. Surveillance and getting documentation should be sufficient. You cannot have political intrusion into everyday life .Jjust think they could sit there saying i think he/she is a Labour lib Dem , lets find out how active they are under the guise of benefit fraud. This is a none starter. For a start the training would not be good enough and the legal appeals and those who are innocent would sue so this would cost more than the council could handle and therefore not cost effective.
Ridiculous. Councils have enough powers already. Surveillance and getting documentation should be sufficient. You cannot have political intrusion into everyday life .Jjust think they could sit there saying i think he/she is a Labour lib Dem , lets find out how active they are under the guise of benefit fraud. This is a none starter. For a start the training would not be good enough and the legal appeals and those who are innocent would sue so this would cost more than the council could handle and therefore not cost effective. jolllyboy
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree