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100,000 + Police Stop & Searches result in zero terrorism-related arrests

100,000 + Police Stop & Searches result in zero terrorism-related arrests

Categories: Latest News

Thursday October 28 2010

The annual Home Office bulletin on the use of anti-terror powers shows that of the 101,248 searches carried out under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, 504 people were arrested for any offence, not one of them for terrorism-related offences.

The Guardian today reports on the release of the HO bulletin which carries information on questioning by police at airports and other ports of entry to the UK for the first time.

The paper records David Davis, Conservative home affairs spokesman’s reaction to the statistical bulletin. He told the paper:

“This astonishing fact of no terrorism-related arrests, let alone prosecutions or convictions, in over 100,000 stop and searches, demonstrates what a massively counter-productive policy this is.

“A policy which fuels resentment and antagonism amongst minority communities without achieving a single terrorist conviction serves only to help our enemies and increase the terrorism threat.”

A fact that human rights organizations and British Muslims have long advocated in their criticism of the counter-productive nature of draconian legislation such as Section 44.

From the Guardian:

“The annual bulletin on the police use of counter-terrorism powers shows that, since the 9/11 attacks, 1,834 people have been arrested in Britain in connection with terrorism-related incidents.

“A total of 1,000 of those suspects have been released without charge, 422 charged with terrorism-related offences, 228 with other crimes, and the remaining 184 dealt with by other action such as being transferred to the immigration authorities.

“So far, 237 of those charged with terrorism-related offences have been convicted. There are 14 outstanding trials yet to be completed.”

Documenting the positive effect of the ECHR’s ruling on the discriminatory and arbitrary element of Section 44, the HO figures show a marked decline on the use of stop and search in the last year.

“There were 101,248 searches under these powers in 2009/10, a 60% reduction on the previous year.”

The review of the Government’s counter-terrorism and security powers policy is being carried out by the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Ken Macdonald.

ENGAGE’s submission to the review can be read here.

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