Stop and search powers to be re-introduced in UK

Posted By: Anita Nair
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London, Jan.10 (ANI): Police powers to stop and search people at random are likely to be revived under new counter-terrorism legislation.

According to The Telegraph, the controversial measures under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 have not resulted in any prosecutions, but have led to complaints from people across all sections of society who have been stopped in order to balance statistics.

The Government, which suspended the use of Section 44 in July, is likely to limit use of the powers to shorter time periods and geographical areas.

Allowing continued use would satisfy the concerns of senior police officers who believe they could be a vital tool around major events such as this year's Royal wedding or the London Olympics next year.

A review, expected later this week, is also likely to result in many of the powers involved in control orders being retained, but under a different name.

Graham Foulkes, whose son, David, was a victim of the July 7 attacks, called on the Deputy Prime Minister yesterday to retain the control orders, which limit the movement of terrorism suspects.

"The current system is not perfect, but throwing it out with no effective replacement process leaves us vulnerable," he said.

Critics of section 44 say the powers were used 101,248 times in 2009-10, but resulted in just 506 arrests and none of those was under terrorism laws.

However, City of London Police officers found what they believed was surveillance footage of the Tube taken around the third anniversary of the July 7 bombings after conducting raids based on one stop and search in 2008.

Assistant Commissioner John Yates, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer, called for a more "common sense" use of the powers in an article in The Daily Telegraph last year. (ANI)

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