Thu, 22 Feb 2007

The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) just published the draft of a report titled Counter-Terrorism: The London Debate. It is 73 pages long and I've only had time to have a very quick browse through it, but as articles are appearing commenting on it, a link to the document may be helpful to others.

Here are the top three recommendations:

In response to these findings, the Metropolitan Police Authority makes the following recommendations for the Metropolitan Police Service, and offers the advice which follows to other bodies. For ease of reference, the items on these lists appear here in decreasing order of priority, rather than in the thematic order in which they appear later in this report.

Complete list of Recommendations and Advice

Recommendations for the Metropolitan Police Service:

1. Metropolitan Police Service: Present an urgent review of the use of Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 stop and search to the full Metropolitan Police Authority. Include in this review a clear rationale explaining why a given individual is stopped and searched rather than another. If unable to demonstrate to the Metropolitan Police Authority’s satisfaction through this review that the power is sufficiently effective in countering terrorism to outweigh the damage it does to community relations, stop using it, other than in exceptional circumstances, such as where there is a specific threat to a particular location.

2. Metropolitan Police Service: Publish an explanation of Operation Kratos (the generic title for a series of Metropolitan Police Service standard operating procedures and tactical responses to the threat posed by suicide terrorism), setting out clearly the learning that has taken place since 22 July 2005.

3. Metropolitan Police Service: Accept and apply to current counter-terrorist activity the learning from previous terrorist campaigns.

The top recommendation is very good news. The abuse of Stop and Search under Section 44 is an issue I raised with the MPA when I went to ask a question and when I met its Chair of the Stop & Search Scrutiny Board.

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