§ Mr. Donohoe
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what use his Department has made of private detective agencies or investigators during 1995–96 and 1994–95; which agencies have been employed; for what purposes; and at what cost to his Department. 
§ Mr. Norris
The Department of Transport and its agencies have used detective agencies: Appointed through the Treasury Solicitor's Department, in connection with seeking evidence for possible legal proceedings against trespassers on road construction sites and for processing legal documents.
- 1994–95: 344,217
- 1995–96: 477,774
To establish the whereabouts of people believed to have caused damage to the Highways Agency's roads and structures for the purpose of making claims against them. Approximately 300 to 400 cases are pursed each year at an average cost of £50 to £.100 each.
To assist in the recovery of overpayments of salary to Department of Transport staff.
- 1994–96: four cases, total cost £190
- 1995–96: nil cases
To hand serve summonses for unlicensed vehicle use and to carry out a debt collection trial, in unlicensed vehicle use cases, to recover outstanding out of court settlements.
- 1994–95: £373,206
- 1995–96: £133,953
To obtain evidence in a personal injury case.
- 1994–95: £5,000
- 1995—–96: nil
The names of some of the agencies involved are not available because they are not employed direct, however the following are some of the agencies that have been used:
- Brays Detective Agency
- Abro Watson Ltd.
- Subscription Services Ltd.
- Swift Credit Services
- Disc Services
- Drakes Group
- R. D. Denman Ltd.
- L and C Group Services
- Debt Managers (Scotland Ltd.)
- Financial Collection Agencies (UK) Ltd.
- East of England Trade Protection Society
- Legal and Trade Collection Ltd.
- C. Sharp Investigations and Security Consultants