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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

The coalition government will change how stop and search powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act are used, with immediate effect.

The move is in response to a decision by the European Court of Human Rights, which found that the use of stop and search powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 amounted to a  violation of the right to a private life.

The court said the powers were drawn too broadly – at the time of their initial authorisation and when they are used – and did not have enough safeguards to protect civil liberties. This means that the laws setting out the use of stop and search powers had then to be repealed or amended to bring them in line with European law. 

Home Secretary Theresa May told parliament:

 'I will not allow the continued use of section 44 in contravention of the European Court’s ruling and, more importantly, in contravention of the civil liberties of every one of us.’

She added that the new government had been concerned about the use of section 44 powers 'for some time'.

Interim guidance for the police has now been introduced which sets a new suspicion threshold. Officers will no longer be able to search individuals using section 44 powers. Instead they will have to rely on section 43 powers – which require officers to reasonably suspect the person to be a terrorist.

Police may search only vehicles under section 44 of the law, and then only if they have reasonable suspicion of terrorist activity.

The changes will bring the operation of counter-terrorism use of stop and search powers fully into line with the European Court’s judgment, while also ensuring that the public are protected.

Theresa May concluded:

'The first duty of government is to protect the public. But that duty must never be used as a reason to ride roughshod over our civil liberties. I believe that the interim proposals I have set out today give the police the support they need and protect those ancient rights.’