Anti-terror stop and search falls by 90pc

Police use of stop and search powers under terrorism laws fell by more than 90 per cent last year.

Stops and searches under terrorism laws in 2010/11 totalled 9,652, compared with 102,504 in 2009/10, Home Office figures published yesterday showed.

The significant fall came after the relevant sections of the Terrorism Act 2000 were repealed and replaced by much more limited powers in March following concerns from human rights campaigners.

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The stops led to a total of 77 arrests, less than one in every 100 searches, and none of these were terror-related. This compared with a total of 509 arrests using the powers the previous year, two of which were related to terrorism.

A total of 119 terrorists and extremists were in prison in Great Britain at the end of March, with 97 classed as terrorism-related, the figures showed.

Some 49 were either remanded or convicted under terrorism legislation and 32 were in jail over terrorism-related offences which were not prosecuted under terrorism legislation.

Twenty-two were classified as domestic extremists or separatists and none of these were on remand.

Four were convicted before the introduction of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The figures also showed there were 121 terrorism arrests last year, down from 178 in 2009/10, and lower than the annual average of 206 since 2002/3.

There have been 1,963 terrorism arrests since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

A total of 35 terrorists were released from jail in England and Wales last year, 19 of whom had served sentences of more than four years, the figures showed. Four of these were deported and one left voluntarily.

One terrorist was also released from a Scottish prison.

Two fifths of defendants charged with terrorism offences in trials completed during the last year were convicted, along with all of those suspected terrorists charged under non-terrorism laws. A total of 13 were jailed immediately.