HC Deb 25 November 1992 vol 214 cc658-9W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what use his Department has made of private detectives in each of the last five years; at what cost; and if he will list the firms involved.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

My Department has used private investigators and similar firms:

  1. (a) to hand serve summonses when taking prosecutions for failure to pay vehicle excise duty;
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  3. (b) to hand serve papers on people who have trespassed on the Department's land and to photograph trespassers;
  4. (c) to establish the whereabouts of people believed to have caused damage to the Department's roads and structures for the purpose of making claims against them;
  5. (d) to trace former employees who were overpaid before they left the Department's employ and
  6. (e) in one case to investigate the activities of an employee

Several firms have been used and the full cost for each year could be established only at disproportionate cost but the cost of tracing an individual is usually in the range of £60 to £90 per case.

Mr. Denham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions since 1979 his Department has engaged private detective agencies to investigate the activities of British citizens; and if he will list the date and purpose of each investigation.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

[holding answer 18 November 1992]: As far as can be established without disproportionate cost, my Department has engaged a private detective on only one occasion since 1979 to investigate the activities of a British citizen. A detective was employed in 1992 to investigate a member of staff following complaints received from members of the public.