Section 14(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (the 2005 Act) requires the Secretary of State to report to Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of every relevant three-month period on the exercise of the control order powers during that period.
The level of information provided will always be subject to slight variations based on operational advice.
Control orders continue to be an essential tool to protect the public from terrorism, particularly where it is not possible to prosecute individuals for terrorist-related activity and, in the case of foreign nationals, where they cannot be removed from the UK.
During the period
Control orders can only be made and renewed if they meet the test set out in the Prevention of Terrorism Act in that:
(a) there are reasonable grounds for suspecting the individual is or has been involved in terrorism-related activity; and
(b) it is necessary, for purposes connected with protecting members of the public from a risk of terrorism, to make / renew a control order imposing obligations on him.
Obligations are tailored to the individual concerned and are based on the risk that individual poses. Each control order is kept under review to ensure that the obligations remain necessary and proportionate. Specifically, as Lord Carlile recommended in his February 2006 report on the operation of the control order system, the Home Office has established a Control Order Review Group (CORG), with representation from law enforcement and intelligence agencies, to keep the obligations in every control order under regular (quarterly) formal and audited review and to facilitate a review of appropriate exit strategies. During this reporting period, four review groups were held in relation to the orders currently in force. In addition, further meetings were held on an ad hoc basis as specific issues arose.
As a result, during this reporting period, five control orders were renewed in accordance with Section 2(6) of the 2005 Act. Four control orders have expired and one has been revoked since the last report.
In total, therefore, there are 14 control orders currently in force, eight of which are in respect of British citizens. Four of the individuals live in the Metropolitan Police Service area; the rest fall within other police force areas.
Three of the 14 individuals currently subject to a control order have absconded—one in January 2007 and two in May 2007. One further individual absconded during this reporting period—in June 2007. His control order expired on
The anonymity order for the individual who absconded in September 2006 was lifted by the High Court on
During this reporting period, 25 modifications of control order obligations were made and 23 requests to modify a control order obligation were refused. A right of appeal exists in Sections 10(1) and (3) of the 2005 Act against decisions by the Secretary of State relating to the modification of obligations imposed by non-derogating control orders. Appeals have been made in respect of 10 modification requests that were refused and one modification which was made by the Secretary of State.
There have been no prosecutions for breaches completed during this reporting period.
EWHC 1970 (Admin) the High Court accepted that the Secretary of State had reasonable grounds for suspecting that the individual was involved in terrorism-related activity and that the control order and obligations were necessary to protect the public. The control order modification hearing in Secretary of State for the Home Department v AF  EWHC 2001 (Admin) was heard between 23 and
The House of Lords heard the cases of JJ and others, MB, AF and E in July and considered issues relating to Articles 5 (Right to Liberty) and 6 (Right to a Fair Trial)of the European Convention on Human Rights. In relation to E, the Lords also considered the extent, if any, of duties on the Secretary of State under section 8 of the 2005 Act and the duty to consult the family about the impact on them of the control order. We await the outcome.