In a speech to Muslim community leaders at a Mosque in Birmingham today, Liberal Democrat Leader Menzies Campbell called for an urgent review of stop and search powers, stating that these powers are being overused and alienating minority communities.
Under the Terrorism Act 2000:
- Over 166,894 people have been stopped and searched
- Only 40 people to date have been convicted
- For every person convicted 4170 have been stopped and searched
- For every person arrested 148 have been stopped and searched
Menzies Campbell said:
“It is intelligence-led policing, not indiscriminate stop and search, that will bring success in the fight against terrorism.
“The police and security services must be unrelenting in their determination to track down those who plot terror attacks.
“Indiscriminate stop and search is alienating minority groups who often feel unjustly targeted.
“Anti-terrorism powers are meant to be exceptional powers, used occasionally and only when circumstances demand it.
“The fact that so many people have been stopped, and so few arrested, suggests that the powers are being used as part of standard policing techniques.
“A recent Home Office report states that stop and search is being overused. We now need an urgent review of the powers to ensure that it is used more sensitively and effectively rather than as part of routine policing which enflames anger amongst community groups.
“Then the police can focus on the kind of counter-terrorism operations that actually work.”