Terrorism Act: No terror arrests made after 100,000 stop-and-searches

Out of more than 100,000 people stopped and searched by police using controversial anti-terror powers not one single arrest was made for terrorism-related offences, new figures show.

UK searches: Getty image

Telegraph

A total of 101,248 stops and searches were made under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 in 2009/10, but only one in every 200 led to an arrest and none of these were terror-related, the figures released by the Home Office showed.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, ordered a review of the controversial stop and search powers earlier this year, saying she wanted to correct ”mistakes” made by the Labour government which, she said, was allowed to ”ride roughshod” over civil liberties.

The powers allow officers to stop anyone in a specified area without the need for reasonable suspicion.

Across Great Britain, 506 arrests were made after people were stopped and searched under section 44 of the Terrorism Act, 0.5 per cent of the 101,248 stops and searches, compared with 10 per cent of stops carried out using non-terror powers.

But the use of the stop and search powers fell by 60 per cent compared with 2008/09, the figures showed.

Anti-terrorism chiefs ordered an escalation in the use of the powers after the failed bomb attack against the Tiger Tiger nightclub in London’s Haymarket in 2007.

That resulted in more than a quarter of a million people being searched in 2008/09 – the highest on record and more than twice the level of the previous year.

But after a public outcry over the use of searches, which have a disproportionate effect upon minority groups, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson ordered them to be scaled back in London.

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