§ Mr. Baker
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many chief officer authorisations by(a) the police, and (b) HM Customs and Excise and (c) both, of intrusive surveillance operations were made which affected Sussex for the most recent year for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Michael
Figures on the total number of authorisations of intrusive surveillance operations are not collected centrally but a review undertaken to inform parliamentary debate of part III of the Police Act 1997 estimated that there were around 2,550 chief officer authorisations by police and Customs in the United Kingdom in 1996.
§ Mr. Baker
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will amend the terms of the Interception of Communications Act 1985 to cover interception of telephone communication other than by a physical tap. 
§ Mr. Straw
The Interception of Communications Act 1985 applies to the intentional interception of communications in the course of their transmission by means of a public telecommunications system however the interception is effected. It is not therefore necessary to consider an amendment of the kind proposed by my hon. Friend.