More than 250 council officials in Northamptonshire have power to enter homes and businesses

GV Guildhall
GV Guildhall

More than 250 council officials in Northamptonshire have the power to enter a private home or business in the county, latest figures have shown.

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch asked all local authorities in the country how many of their council officials have the Powers of Entry to enter a private home or business.

Northampton Borough Council has 31, Northamptonshire County Council has 33 and South Northamptonshire Council has 48.

In the north of the county, Kettering Borough Council has 50, Wellingborough 21 and East Northamptonshire has 47. Daventry District Council has 21 and Corby Borough Council has none.

Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Few people would expect that public officials would have the power to enter your home or business, often without a warrant or police escort.

“There have been a number of missed opportunities to rectify this, including the Protection of Freedoms Act and the Home Office’s review of the powers, yet both have failed to tackle the number of officials with these powers.”

A Northamptonshire County Council spokesman said: “Our Trading Standards officers have the power to enter homes and businesses where appropriate, which is vital to enable them to tackle rogue trading and unfair business practices and ensure compliance with laws that protect the community.

“With the increase in online trading, many businesses are run from people’s homes.

“Officers will only use these powers where it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to protect consumers and legitimate business traders.”