HC Deb 12 June 1986 vol 99 cc248-9W
Mr. Michael Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials for whom he has responsibility currently have the power to enter and search premises, subject to statutory conditions; and, in each case, if he will indicate the statutory authority under which power is exercised.

Mr. Moore

The information requested by my hon. Friend is set out in the following able:

Power Statutory authority Number of officials
To enter railway premises in connection with accident investigation or the statutory inspection of new or altered railway works. Section 4 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1871. Six Inspecting Officers of Railways; 15 Railway Employment Inspectors.*
To inspect ships, their equipment and documents for marine safety purposes and to enter premises believed to contain provisions or water for United Kingdom-registered ships. Section 76 of Merchant Shipping Act 1970. Fifteen Marine Superintendents, 249 Marine Surveyors, three Inspectors of Ships' Provisions.
To board ships and enter premises for the purpose of investigating the cause of any accident or damage any ship has sustained or caused. Section 27(1) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1979. Twenty-three Inspectors appointed under Section 728 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 to investigate casualties.†
To serve improvement and prohibition notices relating to the safety of ships. Section 7(1) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1984. Sixty Inspectors appointed to serve notices.‡
* The Railway Inspectors also have powers of entry conferred by Section 20 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974.
† The number of appointments varies depending on the number of casualties under active investigation.
‡ The number of appointments varies depending on the number of cases under investigation.

In addition, in exercise of the Department's functions as a highway authority, officials of the Department may be empowered, under the Highways Act 1980 or the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965, to enter land for such purposes as surveying, maintaining or removing certain structures or works, or taking possession of land subject to compulsory purchase.