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Newcastle Upon Tyne local authority has been deemed the worst offender in Britain for covert surveillance operations, according to a study this week. Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, local authorities have carried out over 8,500 covert surveillance and bugging operations over the last two years. With 231 checks in two years, Newcastle local authority has the worst record of spying on residents in the UK. With Ripa authorisation, the council carried out surveillance to check on the activities of Newcastle residents, ranging from fly-tipping to sick pay claims. Over a dozen councils have used Ripa to punish dog-fouling. Of the 8,500 national covert surveillance, a little under 4.5 per cent have resulted in prosecution.