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Government proposes to replace section 44 stop-and-search powers

Government proposes to replace section 44 stop-and-search powers - Review of counter-terrorism powers includes changes to section 44 stop-and-search powers.

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The government today has proposed to replace the section 44 stop-and-search powers with 'a more tightly defined power' and as a result the Home Office say that this will prevent the 'misuse of these powers against photographers'.

However, the proposed changes will allow a senior police officer to 'make an authorisation for stop and search powers when they have reason to suspect a terrorist attack will take place and searches are necessary to prevent it'.

The review, which can be found online, found that: 'widespread concern, notably amongst photographers and journalists, that counter-terrorism powers are being used to stop people legitimately taking photographs. While statistics are not available to show which of the offences/powers listed above have created most concern, anecdotal evidence and submissions to this review suggest that section 44 stop and searches of people taking photographs are the key issue.'

Further into the review it states: 'The review also received submissions relating to ‘over-zealous’ security guards taking action against photographers. While not directly related to counter-terrorism powers, the review considered that the guidance and training for the security guards could also be strengthened to reflect better photographers’ rights.'

Will the changes stop the problems photographers have faced? Share your thoughts here.

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