|The Home Office today publishes the quarterly update to September 2012 on the ‘Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: Arrests, outcomes and stops and searches’.
Detailing outcomes further to the date of publication of the previous quarterly report to June 2012, the data released today shows:
“There were 245 persons arrested in Great Britain for a terrorism-related offence.
“Of those arrested, 45 persons were charged for a terrorism-related offence.”
The figure, 245, relates to persons arrested in the 12 months to September 2012.
“Of those arrested and charged for a terrorism-related offence, 18 were convicted and 25 were awaiting prosecution (as at 18 Jan 2013).
“On 30 September 2012 there were 134 persons in prison custody for terrorism-related and extremist offences in Great Britain.”
On the use of stop and search powers under Section 43 the data shows:
"The Metropolitan Police Service conducted 720 stops and searches under section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 in the year ending 30 September 2012, a fall of 41 per cent on the 1,211 in the previous year."
Stop and search powers under Section 44 were abrogated with the introduction of section 47A in the Protection of Freedoms Bill 2010 following the legal ruling by the European Court on Human Rights which found the former powers in violation of human rights on privacy and anti-discrimination. The quarterly update shows that under Section 47A
“There has, as yet, been no use of new stop and search powers under section 47A of the Terrorism Act 2000 since they were formally brought into use on 18 March 2011.”
Detailing the ethnic breakdown of persons stopped under Section 43, the report reveals:
“Of the 720 persons searched under s43 of TACT in the year ending 30 September 2012, the highest proportion defined themselves as White (40%), followed by Asian or Asian British (34%), Black or Black British (11%), Chinese and ‘Other’ (5%) and finally Mixed (3%). Eight per cent did not state their ethnicity in the year ending 30 September 2012.
“The proportion of persons searched under s43 of TACT who defined themselves as White was four percentage points higher than the previous year. The proportion who defined themselves as Black also increased (by two percentage points) in the year ending 30 September 2012. The proportion who self-defined as Asian remained the same across the two years.”
The effectiveness of stop and search as a counter-terrorism measure continues to attract debate with the figures released today reinforcing earlier findings that only 5% of stop and search have resulted in an arrest.
The ENAR Shadow Reports on ‘Racism and related discriminatory practices’ in Europe with a special focus on Muslim communities, includes a section on counter-terrorism measures stating
“Muslim communities report that anti-terrorism policies and legislation contribute to a wider climate of hostility, fear and suspicion towards them”
The use of stop and search under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is currently under review after the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC, urged a review of the policy and the “excessive enthusiasm” with which certain counter-terrorism powers were being used.
Reforming stop and search is one of the key pledges we sought from Police and Crime Commissioners in our manifesto for the PCC elections last November.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary is undertaking an inspection into the use of stop and search legislation by the 43 police forces in the UK, including an online survey for individuals who have been stopped and searched. If you have been stopped and searched, and are willing to help HMIC investigate if the police are being fair and following the rules when they stop and search people in the street, please fill in the survey here.