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Police use of section 44 searches to deter protest at DSEI

someone concerned about misuse of terrorism legislation | 09.09.2003 00:08 | DSEi 2003 | Repression

Police are misusing the Anti-terrorism legislation to inhibit protest and activism around DSEI. If you intend to visit London during the Disarm DSEI week (6-12) download or collect a Section 44 Search Monitoring Form/Advice Sheet. You may find it helpful if you get searched. If you fill it in and post it to Liberty, they can continue to document the grave misuse of the Anti-terror legislation. (See Liberty website for their detailed report about misuse of the terrorism legislation at Fairford "Casualty of War: 8 weeks of counter-terrorism in rural England"-

Police are using anti-terror legislation powers to search people gathering to participate in the Disarm DSEI week of actions in London. The search powers (Sec 44 of the Terrorism Act) give the police the power to conduct searches without suspicion. Although these searches are meant to be used to discover the tools and weapons of a terrorist, they have been added to the tools used by the police to control demonstration and protest. The first time these powers were used in this way was at and around "RAF Fairford" during the invasion of Iraq. People were searched up to 28 times in a single day. They would no sooner finish with one search, than another police officer would demand a search under section 44. In spite of these thorough searches, police didn't uncover a single terrorist. They did manage to disrupt a great deal of protest and deter activists from visiting the base while bombers conducted their missions from Gloustershire to Bagdad and back again.

The Section 44 Monitoring form is downloadable as a word file at was put together using experience activists and lawyers to provide good advice and a means to document the new policing tactic of using section 44 to search without cause in order to uncover intelligence, possession of restricted items (criminal offences though, not terror related), and confiscate things that have no relation to the legislation. Please consider completing one of these Section 44 Monitoring Forms if you have been searched.

someone concerned about misuse of terrorism legislation


Display the following 3 comments

  1. Link? — Zz
  2. It's clean — geek
  3. Monitoring form (pdf version) — W@