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Friday 29 October 2010

Section 44 – Heat But No Light

Just occasionally, the now free Evening Standard throws up a nugget of valuable information, and yesterday’s paper brought a good example.

Under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, the police have been stopping and searching a lot of folks. In fact, in the year to April 2010, that was over 100,000 people – 101,248 to be precise. So how much terrorism was unearthed as a result of this endeavour?

Well, as the Standard has reported, there were 506 arrests, or about half of one per cent of all those stopped. But none of the arrests was for a terrorist related offence. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

The impression is given that legislation has been passed into law merely to appease certain parts of the Fourth Estate (including the Standard under its previous ownership), and to make it look as if something is being done.

So maybe it’s time to repeal this one.

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