Christian Action Network

Daily Terrorism News; WebPage @ www.ChristianAction.Org

Surge in police anti-terror stops

(BBC) Anti-terror stop and searches in London have risen five-fold since the alleged attempted car bomb attacks in June.  Metropolitan Police chiefs said officers were making more use of special powers to “deter, disrupt and prevent terrorist activity”.  Provisional figures reveal there were almost 11,000 stops in July – five times more than the monthly average.  Under the controversial law, officers can stop and search people without needing to suspect them of a crime.  Under Section 44 of the Terrorism act 2000, police officers can conduct these stops providing they take place in an area classed as a potential terrorist target.  The power is currently in force across London and the Metropolitan Police Authority, the force’s watchdog, warned earlier this year the stops were doing “untold damage” to community relations.  Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has previously defended use of the powers, but accepted that more was needed to be done to explain why they are used.  Announcing that there would be more use of the powers in the wake of the alleged attempted Glasgow and London car bombings, Commander Rod Jarman of the force said the stops were a vital tactic in limiting the chances for terrorist attacks in the capital.  “You may see an increase in overt counter terrorism activities by the police over the coming months,” he said.  “Terrorists live, work and blend in to 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.  “To complement our more covert methods of fighting terrorism we must have a more visible presence to deter and prevent terrorist activity.”  “In order to achieve this we need the support of the public. We ask for co-operation and patience while we carry out these important duties to help keep London safe,” Mr Jarman said.  Concerns over powers  Met police chiefs recently said they had recorded a 37% increase in what they classed as suspicious reconnaissance, although they added the jump could be down to improvements in counter-terrorism policing.  The Metropolitan Police Authority warned in a February 2007 report that it had concerns over the effect the anti-terrorism stops were having on Muslims. It reported that of the 22,672 anti-terror stops in the year to October 2006 only 27 had led to terrorism-related arrests.  And in June the government’s independent reviewer of terrorism laws, Lord Carlile, said he believed the number of stops could be halved without harming national security. He said that there was inconsistency in how the law was being used.  But Commander Jarman of the Met appealed for public patience and support in using the powers.  “Terrorists have been thwarted, but as the appalling attacks of July 2005 and recent events demonstrate, we must assume that they will try again,” he said.  “It is vital that we all remain vigilant about security at all times.”

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August 6, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, Homeland security, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

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