Melanie Wallwork reports:
Snooping powers have been exercised hundreds of times by Lancashire County Council over the last five years.
Cleaners who repeatedly failed to show up for work, and a care assistant who claimed too much on travel expenses, were among those caught through surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).
A person in Chorley thought to be selling counterfeit goods via eBay, people pursuing false personal injury claims, and a retailer selling furniture not up to fire safety standards were also among those investigated using powers granted under the Act.
A Freedom of Information request by the Lancashire Evening Post revealed that the council has used RIPA powers on 302 occasions since 2004.
The Act permits local authorities to request phone records or monitor people if it is deemed necessary in the interests of national security or public safety.
Read more on lep.co.uk.