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Police accused of abusing powers as anti-terrorism stop and searches treble

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Tom Whitehead,
London Telegraph
Thursday, April 30, 2009

The number of people who police in England and Wales stop and search under anti-terrorism laws has trebled in just a year, but only a handful result in arrests.

Officers were last night accused of abusing their powers after it emerged just one per cent of around 124,000 “suspects” targeted in 2007/08 were arrested – and only a fraction of those were for terrorism related offences.

Nearly 90 per cent of the searches were carried out in London by the Metropolitan Police, which saw a 266 per cent increase, with the aftermath of the attempted nightclub bombing in the Haymarket in the summer of 2007 blamed for the rise.

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The level of stop and searches for other suspected offences also increased to more than a million last year – the highest for a decade.

There was also a sharp rise in the number of times the public had to justify their activities to police in so-called “stop and account” incidents.

Members of the public were stopped and questioned by officers more than 2.3 million times last year after a rise of 26 per cent.

Full article here

This article was posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 10:41 am





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