UK: random stop & search increasing


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

More face stop and search to deter terrorists, say police

Sandra Laville, crime correspondent
Tuesday August 7, 2007
The Guardian

Powers to stop and search members of the public under terrorism laws will be 
used increasingly this summer, police said yesterday.

The warning came as searches in London under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 
2000 - for which police do not need grounds for suspicion - grew to five times 
the monthly average during July. The upsurge came after the attempted car bomb 
attacks in London and Glasgow, but senior police officers said yesterday there 
would be no let-up.

This comes despite a pledge in February that the use of section 44 searches 
would be scaled back, after complaints from Muslims that they were feeling 

More than 350 people a day were stopped and searched under section 44 in London 
last month, a monthly total of 10,948 stops which compares to an average of 
2,114. Scotland Yard said of the 10,948 stops in July, 24% were Asian, 14% were 
black and 54% were white.

In February, the Association of Chief Police Officers announced a review of 
section 44 searches. At the time Andy Hayman, the country's most senior 
counter-terrorism officer, told the Metropolitan police authority that 
stop-and-search gave pain to the community and resulted in few arrests.

The review, published in May, recommended improvements to training of officers 
and accurately updating the public on the use of section 44 searches, but found 
the power was needed.

Announcing the policy of high-profile, increased stop and searches yesterday, 
Commander Rod Jarman of the Metropolitan police said senior officers were 
advising police on the streets to exercise the power more frequently.

"Terrorists live, work and blend into our communities. They need information; 
accommodation, transport, communications, material and storage. Terrorists can 
come from any background and live anywhere. They are as likely to be seen in 
quiet suburban roads as they are in inner city areas," said Mr Jarman.

"To complement our more covert methods of fighting terrorism, we must have a 
more visible presence to deter and prevent terrorist activity."

Although terrorists had been thwarted in the past, events showed that they would
try again and he appealed for the public to remain vigilant.

Police have powers to search people they suspect of carrying drugs, weapons or 
stolen goods but section 44 grants additional powers in which anyone can be 
searched for articles connected to terrorism, even without "reasonable grounds" 
for suspicion.

A spokesman for the Muslim Safety Forum, which has complained about 
disproportionate use of section 44s in the Muslim community, said the forum 
understood the need to use these powers, but the latest campaign must be run in 
a way which did not further strain relations between Muslims and the police.

Posting archives:
Escaping the Matrix website:
cyberjournal website:

Community Democracy Framework:

Moderator: •••@••.•••  (comments welcome)