A pilot scheme in which police officers will be required to have “reasonable suspicion” before they can stop and search someone under an anti-terror legislation will be trialled in four London boroughs.
The Metropolitan Police Authority reported the changes in a tactical review
of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Originally Sections 44 (1) and (2) of the act allowed uniformed officers to stop and search people and vehicles without any reasonable grounds to conduct the search. Now by way of actions designated under Section 43, officers are required to have reasonable suspicion. However, if an officer is in a place of iconic nature or of key strategic importance then the use of Section 44 powers are still allowed. Section 44 can also still be used on a prevent and deter basis through a directive by the Management Board or tasked by the Security Review Committee. Although the report says unless there's a significant change in threat this will be used sparingly.
The new three-layered approach will be implemented in Southwark, Brent, Newham and Tower Hamlets during May with plans to roll the new scheme out further in the summer.
Do you think the changes will help photographers? Leave your comments below.