Mr Vaughan v South Oxfordshire District Council


This case raised an important point of principle as to whether council tax home inspections constitute surveillance.

After examining the definition of 'surveillance' and 'covert' the Tribunal concluded that there was no surveillance within the meaning of the legislation. Under Section 26(9) surveillance is covert only if it is carried out in a manner that is calculated to ensure that persons who are subject to the surveillance are unaware that it is or may be taking place. On this issue the focus of the case was on the manner in which the observation or monitoring of the Complainant was carried out. The Tribunal concluded that in the circumstances the surveillance carried out by the Council was not covert.

Judgment dated : 4 Jul 12

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