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Terrorism Section 44 powers (stop and search)

Comment 1st July 2010

Unlike other stop and search powers that the police can use, Section 44 does not require the police to have "reasonable suspicion" that an offence has been committed, to search an individual. You can therefore have the situation where members of the public are searched under S44 as an excuse to find something when there is no legal basis. This maybe because the officer is lazy, unprofessional, or looking for a way around current legislation in order to 'generate' work.

Why does this matter?

Repealing this law, or at the very least requiring an officer to have reasonable grounds to suspect included are important to safe-guard civil liberties of the individual from the state.

At the moment it is acceptable to for a police officer to stop and search a member of public just because they fit the visual profile of a terroist without them doing anything wrong. This is unfair and must be addressed.

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