Orders of the Day — Terrorism Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:38 pm on 26th October 2005.

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Photo of Chris Mullin Chris Mullin Labour, Sunderland South 2:38 pm, 26th October 2005

As the right hon. Gentleman says, when the police were last asked, they said that they wanted the period raised from seven to 14 days. Has he noticed that the reasons given at the time—to be found in the Official Report for 20 May 2003 at columns 942–3—are similar to the reasons advanced for the increase from 14 to 90 days? For example, there is a whole paragraph on the difficulties of extracting material from computers.


Julian Todd
Posted on 8 Nov 2005 9:42 am (Report this annotation)

He's refering to the argument during the extension from 7 to 14 days at:


"... it is necessary to examine substances that are... found on or with detained individuals, to determine whether they are chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear... I am told that the forensic retrieval itself can take up to five days. Clinical procedures then have to be applied to the analysis. This often involves a staged process... and I readily appreciate the arguments that the police are using as to why extended periods beyond seven days might be necessary.

"Another example... concerns the use of personal computers and the requisition of hard drives... It can take several days for material from a hard drive to be extracted, analysed and used in the questioning of a suspect."

As you can see, the argument is the same, only now we have largely lost the timetable justification on substance analysis since that can never take more than 14 days.