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The Terrorism Act 2000 and The Terrorism Act 2006 amendments, Section 41 (detention without charge), Section 44 powers (stop and search), Section 58 Collection of information.

Comment 1st July 2010

 

To abolish these Police State elements.

Section 41 (detention without charge)

Section 41 of the Act provided the police with the power to arrest and detain a person without charge for up to 48 hours if they were suspected of being a terrorist.[9] This period of detention could be extended to up to seven days if the police can persuade a judge that it is necessary for further questioning.

This was a break from ordinary criminal law where suspects had to be charged within 24 hours of detention or be released. This period was later extended to 14 days by the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and to 28 days by the Terrorism Act 2006.

Section 44 powers (stop and search)

The most commonly encountered use of the Act was outlined in Section 44 which enables the police and the Home Secretary to define any area in the country as well as a time period wherein they could stop and search any vehicle or person, and seize "articles of a kind which could be used in connection with terrorism". 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.

In January 2010 the stop-and-search powers granted under Section 44 were ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights. It held that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated in the case of two people stopped in 2003 outside the ExCeL convention centre in London, which at the time was hosting a military equipment exhibition. The Court found the powers were "not sufficiently circumscribed" and lacked "adequate legal safeguards against abuse," over-ruling a 2003 High Court judgement upheld at the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords.

Section 58 – Collection of information

This section creates the offence, liable to a prison term of up to ten years, to collect or possesses "information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

Sections 57-58: Possession offences: Section 57 is dealing with possessing articles for the purpose of terrorist acts. Section 58 is dealing with collecting or holding information that is of a kind likely to be useful to those involved in acts of terrorism. Section 57 includes a specific intention, section 58 does not.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/ukpga_20000011_en_1

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2006/ukpga_20060011_en_1

Why does this matter?

These Laws are being abused.

Walter Wolfgang was removed from the 2005 Labour Party conference for heckling Jack Straw. He was later stopped by police under the Terrorism Act on attempting to re-enter the conference.

Over 1000 anti-war protesters, were stopped and required to empty their pockets, on their way to RAF Fairford (used by American B-52 bombers during the Iraq conflict).

During the 2005 G8 protests in Auchterarder, Scotland, a cricketer on his way to a match was stopped at King's Cross station in London under Section 44 powers and questioned over his possession of a cricket bat.

In October 2008 police stopped a 15-year-old schoolboy in south London who was taking photographs of Wimbledon railway station for his school geography project. He was questioned under suspicion of being a terrorist. His parents raised concerns that his personal data could be held on a police database for up to six years.

Member of Parliament Andrew Pelling was questioned after photographing roadworks near a railway station

In April 2009 a man in Enfield was questioned under Section 44 for photographing a police car that he considered was being driven inappropriately along a public footpath.

Trainspotters have frequently been subjected to stop and search; in August 2009 a rail enthusiast was pursued by Dyfed-Powys Police for photographing a locomotive at a Murco oil refinery in Milford Haven. Between 2000 and 2009, police used powers under the Act to stop 62,584 people at railway stations.

In November 2009, BBC photographer Jeff Overs was searched and questioned by police outside the Tate Modern art gallery for photographing the sunset over St Paul's Cathedral, under suspicion of preparing for a terrorist act. Overs lodged a formal complaint with the Metropolitan Police.

In December 2009, renowned architectural photographer Grant Smith was searched by a group of City of London Police officers under Section 44 because he was taking photographs of Christ Church Greyfriars; although he was working on public ground, the church's proximity to the Bank of America City of London branch caused a bank security guard to call the police.

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