More than one million people stopped and searched by police using anti-terror laws in just 12 months

The population of England was as per July 2008 60,943,912 souls. That means that the police searched more than 340 people a day. Just imagine being stopped and searched out of the blue on the street because another human being who happens to wear a funny blue uniform think you look “terroristic”. Of all those people only 75 were arrested (Not convicted) on terrorism charges, that is one in every 1700 people.

If you extrapolate that to the New Zealand situation, it would mean that more than 24 people a day would be subjected to invasive searches on the street without any reasonable suspicion and that of those approximately  8,700people only 5 or so would be arrested for possible terrorist activities and since most people accuses of terrorist activities are cleared of those charges I wonder how the Nea Zealand population would react to those police state tactics.

Police stood accused of misusing their counter-terrorism powers last night as latest figures revealed a huge rise in use of stop-and-search powers – with only a tiny fraction leading to an arrest.

The number of suspects detained and searched by police using Terrorism Act powers more than trebled last year to 124,687 – equivalent to more than 340 per day.

But the massive crackdown led to just 73 people being arrested for a terrorism offence – fewer than one in 1,700 of those stopped.

Police stop and search

Officers in England and Wales used Terrorism Act powers to search 124,687 people in 2007/8, up from 41,924 in 2006/7 (file picture of a stop and search)

Use of the tactics rocketed in the wake of the attempted bombings in London’s West End in 2007, and almost 90 per cent of all the searches were carried out by the Metropolitan Police, which recorded a 300 per cent year-on-year increase.

But civil liberty campaigners and opposition MPs warned that the vastly increased use of the powers threatened to alienate large sections of the community and undermine trust in Britain’s police – who are already reeling from the controversy over their handling of the G20 protests.

Use of ordinary stop-and-search police powers also rose sharply for the fourth year in a row to more than a million, reaching the highest figure since 1998.

A total of 1,035,438 suspects were stopped and searched under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. In areas where police make most use of the tactic, particularly London, around one person in 19 was stopped and searched last year.

But it was the sheer scale of the use of counter-terrorism powers which drew criticism.

Out of 124,687 stopped, 1,271 were arrested but the vast majority were for ordinary criminal offences and only 73 had any connection with terrorism.

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘People will be highly suspicious about the scale of stop and search under terror laws.

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