§ Mr. Neil Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance has been issued to the police on the investigation of offences under the Interception of Communications Act 1985.114W
§ Mr. Hurd
I have placed in the Library a copy of guidance which I issued to the police on 8 April. This draws the attention of chief officers to the new offence, established by section 1 of the Act, of improperly intercepting communications in the postal and public telecommunications systems and emphasises the importance of this new offence. It also reminds chief officers that they may seek the specialised technical assistance of British Telecom and the Post Office in investigating reported offences. Similar guidance is being issued to Scottish forces and to the RUC by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.