HL Deb 20 May 1976 vol 370 c1569

Lord HOUGHTON of SOWERBY asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will enumerate the Acts of Parliament, including the relevant sections thereof, which give civil servants power to enter, by force if necessary, private business premises and dwellinghouses; and state the number of occasions when forcible entry has been made by civilian officials during any recent period for which the information is available.


Officers of Customs and Excise have carefully delineated powers of entry, using force if necessary, for the purposes of detection and prevention of tax evasion and smuggling, under the provisions of the following Acts of Parliament:

Customs and Excise Act 1952—Sections 71, 106, 248, 249 and 296.

Finance Act 1967—Section 5 and Schedule 6.

Hydrocarbon Oil (Customs and Excise) Act 1971—Section 22.

Betting and Gaming Duties Act 1972— Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Finance Act 1972—Section 37 and Schedule 7.

Customs and Excise officers have found it necessary to use their powers of forcible entry only in isolated cases, most of which concerned the smuggling of prohibited drugs.