Socialist Worker

Cops can’t stop and search without a reason

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2210

Police are to be stripped of the power to stop and search people for no reason after a European Court judgement.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, police officers could stop and search anyone in a designated area without having to show reasonable suspicion for doing so.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in January that the police’s use of stop and search is illegal. It was ruling on a case brought by Kevin Gillan and Pennie Quinton, who were subjected to Section 44 stops outside an arms fair in east London in 2003.

While police use of Section 44 to stop individuals will no longer be allowed, it will still apply to vehicles.

Police will now use Section 43 of the Terrorism Act if officers “reasonably suspect” they are terrorists.

The racist use of stop and search will continue. Black people are seven times more likely to be stopped and searched by police than white people.

For an interview with Pennie Quinton click here

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Tue 13 Jul 2010, 17:56 BST
Issue No. 2210
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