HC Deb 23 March 1999 vol 328 cc178-9W
Caroline Flint

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to implement the recommendation, in the report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner for 1997, that nominated officials in the law enforcement agencies be permitted to modify serious crime warrants on behalf of the Secretary of State where the warrants are specifically endorsed to permit it. [78581]

Mr. Straw

I intend to implement the change, as recommended by the Interception Commissioner, on 1 April. Thereafter, nominated senior officials in the intercepting agencies will be empowered to modify existing interception warrants by the insertion of new addresses in urgent cases. This is in accordance with section 5(4) of the Interception of Communications Act 1985.

The change will not enable officials to issue interception warrants against new targets. Interception warrants may only lawfully be issued by (or on the express authorisation of) the Secretary of State.

Forward to