Terrorism: Stop and Search

Home Department written question – answered on 14th October 2008.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Secretary of State (Home Office), Shadow Attorney General

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department has given to the police on the exercise of their power under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to stop and search those taking photographs in public places.

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Home Secretary

Guidance on stop and search powers under section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 was issued by the Home Office in Home Office Circular 038/2004 on 1 July 2004 covering the authorisations for the use of the power.

Operational guidance on the use of section 44 stop and search powers was issued by the National Policing Improvement Agency and the Association of Chief Police Officers in 2006.

Following a commitment given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in October 2007, the operational guidance issued to the police on section 44 is currently being reviewed by the Home Office, the police, community groups and other stakeholders. The National Police Improvement Agency will issue revised guidance to all police forces in November. This will cover the taking of photographs in public places, although the general position is that there is no legal restriction on photography in such places.

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