Mon, 28 May 2007

Questioning the extension of stop and search to stop and question

Yesterday in a leaked letter to the Prime Minister, Tony McNulty, the Counter-Terrorism Minister, outlines the Home Office proposal to give powers to the police to stop and question people. People refusing to give their names or explain what they were doing could be charged with obstructing the police and fined up to £5,000.

A year ago nearly to the day, I asked a question at the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) about the stop and searches conducted in London under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. And only a few months ago, the MPA issued recommendations asking to ‘stop using it, other than in exceptional circumstances’.

If this terrible proposal still goes forward after Tony Blair and John Reid leave office, how many more of us will become ‘suspect’ or future ‘former suspect’?

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