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.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
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.