The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Any local authority is a creature of statute. Where a local authority acts beyond its powers, it will be acting ultra vires.
The Local Government Act 1972 (LGA 1972) gives local authorities power to prosecute criminal offences investigated by their own departments.
These departments include:
health and safety
environmental health/food safety and hygiene
housing and council tax benefit
LGA 1972, s 222 provides that a local authority can prosecute or defend criminal proceedings where it considers it 'expedient for the promotion or protection of the interests of the inhabitants of their area'. It is for the local authority to determine what is in the interests of its residents and not the courts.
Every case will depend upon its own facts and that a court should be slow to interfere with a local authority's exercise of discretion as to what will promote or protect the interests of their inhabitants.
In Oldham v Worldwide Marketing Solutions, it was confirmed that a local authority was entitled to take broader policy considerations into account when deciding what was in the interests of its inhabitants and that those could include considerations from outside of the local authorities' geographical area.
The extent of local authorities' power to prosecute was considered at length in R v AB. The appellants were awaiting trial for conspiracy to defraud the Legal Aid Authority of
**excludes LexisPSL Practice Compliance, Practice Management and Risk and Compliance. To discuss trialling these LexisPSL services please email customer service via our online form. Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK. We may terminate this trial at any time or decide not to give a trial, for any reason. Trial includes one question to LexisAsk during the length of the trial.
To view the latest version of this document and thousands of others like it, sign-in to LexisPSL or register for a free trial.
Existing user? Sign-in
Take a free trial
Take a free trial
0330 161 1234