ENFORCEMENT SITE VISITS
We are frequently asked to comment when it comes to enforcement officers trying to come onto private property. Most enforcement officers completely disregard the rights of the private citizen when investigating complaints of planning irregularity.
They are so consumed with catching you out, they will stoop to any tactic to deceive you into thinking they are totally empowered and that you are powerless to prevent the intrusion. That is of course nonsense. Nevertheless, almost everyone is caught off guard and lets the very person in, who will later write up a damning statement (probably also adding false information) which will hang you in a Court of law. We know of cases where planning and enforcement officers have fabricated photographic evidence and solicited complaints, where none existed.
Council officers at your door are not your friends
Planning officers will seek to harass, intimidate you, cajole or otherwise obtain information without going through the proper procedures. These same officers know you will do or say almost anything to get rid of the uninvited intrusion. There is no difference between officers using such tactics in your own house and the Police obtaining evidence without cautioning you or obtaining a warrant.
Basically, enforcement officers are not nice people. If they were, they would explain your rights up front, make proper appointments and carry the complete case file for you to see on demand. The reason they don't do this is that most cases are trumped up favours for neighbours or friends. If you saw the file, you or any competent lawyer would be able to unravel their case due to procedural or other impropriety. You may even be able to counterclaim or seek a judicial review.
In the United States of America, a famous case set a precedent to once and for all give the man in the street, back his rights - Miranda v Arizona 1966. In England, we have similar rights, however, these rights are contained in Statute widely spread, such that the man in the street, will not know about them.
The following statute is some example of your rights:-
Concerning the Police & Criminal Evidence Act, if you suspect council officers are doing a favour for a neighbour, that is of course a misuse of public office. Accordingly, you should caution the officers and take (preferably record - video or audio) down anything they say. Why not ask them if they are doing a favour for a neighbour? You should then report the incident to the Police over the telephone to obtain an incident number, then confirm your suspicions in writing as a formal complaint.
a law enforcement officer may question you regarding the possible
commission of a crime, he or she must read you your Miranda Rights. He
or She must also make sure that you understand them.
WARNING OF RIGHTS
You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Do
With thanks to Action Groups across the country for the supply of real case history and supporting documents. *THAT THE PUBLIC MAY KNOW*
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