UK Government

Home Office: Statistical news release

Press Release   •   Oct 28, 2010 13:18 BST

Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation - arrest, outcomes and stops and searches, Great Britain, 2009/10:

This statistical bulletin is published as fifth in a series which brings together information on terrorism arrests, outcomes and stop and searches. The bulletin also includes, for the first time, information on court appeals, port examinations and police cordons.

Terrorism Arrests & Outcomes:

• The number of terrorism arrests fell in 2009/10 to 173 compared with an annual average of 216 and a 2008/9 total of 190. There have been 1,834 terrorism arrests since 11 September 2001.

• Thirty per cent of terrorism arrests in 2009/10 resulted in a charge (just higher than the 28% rate for all indictable offences), just under half of arrestees were released, and a further 24 per cent had alternative action taken, e.g. 18 transfers to UKBA and 10 released on bail.

• Forty-eight per cent of charges resulting from terrorism arrests in 2008/9 were terrorism related. The average since 11 September 2001 was 65 per cent.

• Thirty-two per cent of those arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 in 2009/10 were held in pre-charge detention for under one day and 83 per cent for under seven days. No individuals were held for longer than 14 days. Since the extension of the pre-charge detention period in 2006, only 11 suspects have been held for over 14 days and six for the full period of 28 days.

• Two hundred and thirty-seven suspects (59% of those charged) have been convicted of a terrorism related offence since 11 September 2001. However 14 trials for recent terrorism related offences were yet to be completed.

• Sixty-five per cent of defendants tried in 2009/10 for terrorism related offences were convicted, of which 40 per cent pleaded guilty. There were five life sentences in 2009/10. Twenty four per cent of all custodial sentences in 2009/10 were 10 years or over.

• Between 2007/8 and 2009/10 there were 51 appeals for terrorism convictions with seven convictions quashed and 24 in which the sentence was varied (including four where the sentence was increased).

• There were 102 prisoners at 31 March 2010 classified as terrorists with no prisoners held by the Scottish Prison Service; five were convicted before the introduction of the Terrorism Act 2000. Seventy-three per cent of terrorist prisoners were UK nationals.

Stops and searches under s43 and s44 Terrorism Act 2000:

• Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 gives police forces powers to stop and search individuals to prevent acts of terrorism without the need for reasonable grounds of suspicion. In 2009/10, 101,248 stops and searches were made under this power which represents a 60 per cent decrease since 2008/9. Compared with the same quarter of 2008/9 the number of searches carried out in Jan-March 2010 fell by 77 per cent, down to 14,214.

• Section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 enables a police officer to stop and search someone reasonably suspected of being a terrorist. In 2009/10 1,224 stops and searches were carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service under this power, a 24 per cent decrease since 2008/9.

Port examinations under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000
• Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 gives police forces powers to stop and search individuals at ports without the need for reasonable grounds of suspicion. In 2009/10 85,557 persons were stopped and examined in a border area in Great Britain under the powers under Schedule 7 Terrorism Act 2000. Of these, 2,687 persons were held for over one hour.

Police cordons under s33 Terrorism Act 2000
• There were 43 police cordons under terrorism legislation in 2009/10.

Notes to editors

This statistical bulletin has been developed from the terrorism arrests and outcomes 2008/9 statistical bulletin by extending coverage to include data on the use of police powers under s43 and s44 Terrorism Act 2000 and port examinations for the period up to 31 March 2010.

Although the statistics enclosed in the publication are not classified as National Statistics the publication arrangements for this report are in line with these procedures. Following further improvements in quality and content we will seek to have the series considered for designation as National Statistics by the UK Statistics Authority.

It is planned to have a first quarter bulletin covering April to June 2010 published in early 2011.

The report is available online through the UK Statistics Authority website as well as the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website.

This Statistical Bulletin has been produced by statisticians working in the Home Office Statistics Unit. Although this output is not currently given National Statistics accreditation, the protocols for such statistics have been mirrored as closely as possible.

The governance arrangements in the Home Office for statistics were strengthened on 1 April 2008 to place the statistical teams under the direct management of a Chief Statistician who reports to the National Statistician with respect to all professional statistical matters.

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