Wednesday, June 29 2016

Home Office publishes statistics on arrests and stops and searches under Terrorism Act 2000

   The Home Office has released its statistical bulletin on the use of arrests, stops and searches under the Terrorism Act in 2010/11, including figures which show that there has been a 91% fall in stops and searches carried out under section 44 of the Terrorism Act since last year. Here are some of the key statistics:

•    There were 121 terrorism arrests in 2010/11. Since 11 September 2001, there have been a total of 1,963 terrorism arrests.

•    Thirty-seven per cent of terrorism arrests in 2010/11 resulted in a charge (45 individuals). Fifty-two per cent of those arrested for suspected terrorism offences were released without charge (63 individuals) and the remaining 11 per cent were dealt with under alternative action (13 individuals).

•    Forty-two per cent of charges resulting from terrorism arrests in 2010/11 were terrorism-related as compared with 60 per cent since 11 September 2001.

•    Since 11 September 2001, 36 per cent of those arrested for terrorism-related offences were charged, 55 per cent were released and ten per cent had alternative action as a result.

•    All three of those individuals arrested and prosecuted in 2010/11 for terrorism related offences were convicted. Thirteen defendants were awaiting trial as at 31 March 2011.

•    For trials completed during 2010/11, 78 per cent of defendants tried under terrorism legislation were convicted and 100 per cent of those charged with non-terrorism legislation offences were convicted.

Stop and searches-

•    There were 11 stops and searches made under section 44 of TACT between 1 January and 31 March 2011 in Great Britain, compared with 14,250 in the corresponding quarter in 2009/10.

•    Compared with the corresponding quarter of 2009/10, the number of searches under section 43 carried out between 1 January and 31 March 2011 increased by 62 per cent with the total up from 251 to 407.

Last year’s annual Home Office bulletin revealed that of the 101,248 searches carried out under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, not one person was arrested for terrorism-related offences.  In 2010/11, 9,652 stops and searches were made under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, a fall of 91 per cent on 2009/10. 77 were arrested as a result, none of which were for terrorist offences.

Last January, stops and searches under Section 44 were ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights for their arbitrary and widespread usage, as well as their disproportionate targeting of black and Asian ethnic minorities in the UK.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has raised concerns regarding the risk of arbitrary application of exceptional counter-terrorism powers to stop and search without reasonable suspicion because of the lack of “full and proper guidance on the exercise of the individual officer’s discretion to stop and search.”

You can read the full report here.

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