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Terrorism Prevention

Volume 941: debated on Wednesday 14 December 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been detained under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temoprary Provisions) Act; how many have been subsequently charged with offences; and with what offences they have been charged.

3,017 people have been detained in Great Britain under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974 and 1976. An extension of detention under Section 7 of the 1974 Act or Section 12 of the 1976 Act has been approved in 274 cases; a further 643 people were detained for 48 hours of less. 2,100 people have been detained pending further examination at ports under the supplemental orders made under the Acts.115 people detained under the Acts have been charged with offences in Great Britain. 17 of them have been charged with cffences under the Acts. Four of the remainder have been charged with murder, three with attempted murder, 16 with conspiracy to cause explosions, 11 with unlawful possession of explosives, one with conspiracy to possess or procure explosives with intent to endanger life, 12 with offences under the Firearms Act 1968, one with causing an explosion, five with conspiracy to defraud the Inland Revenue, 15 with theft, four with burglary, one with causing criminal damage, one with threatening to cause criminal damage, one with attempting criminal deception, one with handling a stolen vehicle, five with handling stolen property, one with unlawful wounding, two with possession of drugs, three with wasting police time, one with harbouring a person known to have committed an arrestable offence, two with assault on police, one with being found on enclosed premises, one with possessing an offensive weapon, two with offences under Section 6 of the Road Traffic Act 1972, three with criminal deception, and one with obtaining a passport by deception.In addition, three people have been removed to the Irish Republic, and there charged, two with burglary and one with robbery.25 people have been returned to Northern Ireland and there charged, six with murder, two with robbery, four with firearms offences, four with unlawful possession of explosives, five with causing an explosion, one with the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, one with burglary and two with arson.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons have been charged with offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act; and under which sections of the Act the charges have been brought.

14 people have been charged in Great Britain with offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976; two under Section 10(1)(a) and Section 10(2), two under Section 10(1), one under Section 10(1)(b)—this person was not initially detained under the Act—three under Section 1(1)(b), two under Section 9(1), two under Section 9(2)(a), and two under Section 11(1). Four people were charged in Great Britain under Section 1(1)(b) of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has refused an extension of five days to the police for the holding of a suspect under the Prevention of Terrorism Act; and, if so, in how many cases.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, of the charges brought against suspects initially held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, if any have been dropped before the case was heard; if so, which charges; if any charges have led to an unsuccessful prosecution; if so, which charges; if any charges have led to a successful prosecution; and, if so, in each case, what was the sentence imposed.

Details of the outcome of the more serious charges made in Great Britain are as follows:

Charges for offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1974—(4)

Four persons were charged under Section 1(1)(b). Three were acquitted, and one was convicted and sentenced to six months' imprisonment and fined £400.

Charges for offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976—(13)

Three people have been charged under Section 1(1)(6). One was convicted and sentenced to one day's imprisonment, and the other two await trial.

Two persons have been charged and convicted under Section 9(1); one was fined £50; the other was sentenced to three months' imprisonment. Two persons have been charged and convicted under Section 9(2)(a); one was fined £100; the other was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.

Two persons have been charged under Sections 10(1)(a) and 10(2). They were convicted and sentenced to eight years' and two years' imprisonment respectively.

Two persons have been charged under Section 10(1). One was convicted and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment; the other was acquitted.

Two persons have been charged under Section 11(1). One was acquitted but sentenced to two years' imprisonment on another charge; the other was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.

Murder (4)

Four persons have been charged; three have been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment; in the other case, the charge was not proceeded with.

Attempted Murder (3)

Three persons have been charged, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Conspiracy to cause explosions (16)

16 persons have been charged, and 14 have been convicted. Two have been sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment; one to 15 years' imprisonment; one to 14 years', one to 12 years', six to 10 years', one to seven years', one to five years', and one to four years'. The remaining two cases were not proceeded with.

Unlawful possession of explosives (11)

11 persons have been charged; one has been acquitted and six have been convicted. Two were sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment, two to 12 years' imprisonment, one to five years', and one to four years'. Four persons are still awaiting trial.

Conspiracy to possess or procure explosives with intent to endanger life (1)

One person has been charged and acquitted.

Offences under the Firearms Act 1968 (12)

12 persons have been charged and 10 convicted. Two were sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment (suspended) and fined £100; one was fined £150, one £105, one £100, one £60, one £25 and one £20; one was sentenced to three months' imprisonment. In one case the person concerned was admonished and ordered to forfeit his firearms and ammunition. Two persons are still awaiting trial.

Causing an explosion (1)

One person has been charged, convicted and sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment.

Other Charges

Five persons have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the Inland Revenue, 15 with theft, four with burglary, one with causing criminal damage, one with threatening to cause criminal damage, one with attempting criminal deception, one with handling a stolen vehicle, five with handling stolen property, one with unlawful wounding, two with possession of drugs, three with wasting police time, one with harbouring a person known to have committed an arrestable offence, two with assault on police, one with being found on enclosed premises, one with possessing an offensive weapon, two with offences under Section 6 of the Road Traffic Act 1972, three with criminal deception, and one with obtaining a passport by deception.

Persons returned to Northern Ireland and there charged (25)

Murder (6)

Six persons have been charged, one has been sentenced to life imprisonment, and five are awaiting trial.

Robbery (2)

Two persons have been charged; one is awaiting trial and the other was convicted and sentenced to five years' imprisonment.

Firearms offences (4)

Four persons have been charged and three convicted. One was sentenced to four years' imprisonment (suspended), one to two years' imprisonment (suspended) and one to three months' imprisonment (suspended). One is awaiting trial.

Unlawful possession of explosives (4)

Four persons have been charged; in one case, the charge was not proceeded with, and one is awaiting trial. One person has been convicted and sentenced to five years' imprisonment; one person has been sentenced to nine months' detention.

Causing an explosion (5)

Five persons have been charged. One case is awaiting trial. Two persons were convicted: one was sentenced to five years' imprisonment, and the other to two years' imprisonment (suspended). Two were not proceeded with.

Other Charges

One person has been charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, one with burglary and two with arson.

Three persons have been returned to the Irish Republic, and there charged, two with burglary and one with robbery.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether any record is kept of requests (a) made by persons for whom application has been granted that they be detained in police custody for a further period of five days under the Prevention of Terrorism Acts and (b) made by such detainees for access to legal advice or for information concerning their detention to be given to their families; what action has been taken; and, if such records are kept, how many applications have been made and how many have been granted;(2) what rules govern the interrogation of children and minors concerning the activities of persons suspected of committing offences under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act;(3) how many minors or young persons have been interrogated; and whether he has prepared a code to govern the interrogation of children under the Prevention of Terrorism Acts.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies given to similar Questions he asked on 26th October and 2nd May.—[Vol. 936, c. 773; Vol. 931, c. 41.]

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish in the Official Report the number of arrests and detentions by each regional police force of persons within their area under the terms of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act.

The total numbers of persons detained in England and Wales under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts 1974 and 1976 for each police force are as follows:

Police ForceNumber of Detentions
Metropolitan Police720
Avon and Somerset Constabulary37
Bedfordshire Police41
Cambridgeshire Constabulary0
Cheshire Constabulary6
City of London Police24
Cleveland Constabulary7
Cumbria Constabulary2
Derbyshire Constabulary1
Devon and Cornwall Constabulary26
Dorset Police16
Durham Constabulary0
Essex Police32
Gloucesterhire Constabulary10
Greater Manchester Police46
Hampshire Constabulary144
Hertfordshire Constabulary0
Humberside Constabulary7
Kent Constabulary37
Lancashire Constabulary56
Leicestershire Constabulary7
Lincolnshire Constabulary2
Merseyside Police735
Norfolk Constabulary0
Northamptonshire Police20
Northumbria Police5
North Yorkshire Police1
Nottinghamshire Constabulary2
South Yorkshire Police0
Staffordshire Police0
Suffolk Police8
Surrey Constabulary82
Sussex Police16
Thames Valley Police15
Warwickshire Constabulary0
West Mercia Constabulary2
West Midlands Police94
West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police99
Wiltshire Constabulary2
Dyfed Powys Police57
Gwent Constabulary2
North Wales Police37
South Wales Constabulary57
2,455
In addition 562 people have been detained under the legislation in Scotland.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases applications were made for detention to be extended for a further five days under the Prevention of Terrorism Acts; and in how many cases it was refused.