Here's another one of my frightening statistics to kick off with. Did you know that more than 300 different kinds of inspections carry the right of entry to private premises. According to a report Inspector at the Door', published by the Federation of Small Businesses last year, this terrifying figure is 50% higher than the number of similar inspections in existence 20 years earlier. The powers of inspectors are contained in a huge number of statutes and detailed legislation where the law is often complex, obscure, or subject to change. In addition to those employed by government departments, agencies and local authorities, more inspectors have been created by the European Union. Inspectors who might pitch up on your doorstep include the VATman, someone from the Health & Safety Executive, inspectors from local weights and measures, electricity supplier officers, goods vehicle examiners, trading standards officers and environmental health officers. The report reveals that inspectors enjoy more than 267 different pieces of legislation authorising entry into an owner's business or home. It added up the staff' too and found that, in the course of one year, 24,000 plus staff were associated with inspecting businesses, resulting in a total of more than 465,000 inspections of business premises. The next logical question is, is there anything you can do about it? If the official does not have either a warrant or statutory power of entry, then you are within your rights to turf them out using reasonable force. However, if you do this to someone who does have power of entry then you could be guilty of an obstruction offence (and criminal assault if you use excessive force). If entry is unauthorised however, you may be able to sue. Courts may award extra damages where trespassing public officials act in an "oppressive, arbitrary or unconstitutional" fashion. So, make sure you know your rights. {{GROCER CLUB }}