§ Mr. Martyn Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on contracts with private detective agencies since 1991; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Key
The Department of Transport has spent approximately £760,000 on contracts with private detective agencies since April 1991.
Such agencies have been used for the following purposes:
- (a) to hand serve summonses in connection with prosecutions for failure to pay vehicle excise duty;
- (b) to collect evidence and hand serve papers on people who have trespassed on the Department's land;
- (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;
- (d) to trace former employees who were inadvertently overpaid before they left the Department's employ;
- (e) in litigation action;
- (f) in one case to investigate a member of staff following complaints received from members of the public.