Socialist Worker

A step forward for civil liberties over stop and search

Issue No. 2151

Police have had their power to stop and search people without reasonable suspicion suspended. Section 44 of the Terrorism Act gave police the power to search people without an expressed suspicion.

Under the new measures officers will effectively no longer be able to search people without reason, although they will reserve the power for use in “special circumstances”.

Even the police have admitted the adverse effects of stop and search tactics as they increase people’s anger towards the force.

The civil rights group Liberty says that just six in every 60,000 stop and searches result in arrest.

There is no evidence that the powers prevent terrorism.

It is welcome to see the police pushed back on this issue.

But we must force them to go further – and abolish stop and search completely.

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Tue 12 May 2009, 17:19 BST
Issue No. 2151
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