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Prevention Of Terrorism

Volume 84: debated on Monday 21 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information is given to individuals held at ports of entry for examination under article 4(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism (Supplemental Temporary Provisions) Order 1984, about their rights to (a) see a lawyer, (b) have a reasonable named person informed of their whereabouts and (c) silence.

Article 4(1) relates to those examined, as they pass through ports. In the vast majority of such cases, the examination takes no more than a minute or two and no special notice on the matters referred to is given. Those few for whom the initial process of examination takes longer than one hour are given a notice of rights under section 62 of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Persons formally detained under article 9 for further examination under article 4(2) are given the same notice of rights as a person held in police custody under any other legislation. The form of information given in either case will be reviewed to comply with the provision of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what training and instructions have been given to immigration and customs personnel concerning the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1984 in relation to international terrorism.

The enforcement of the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984 is principally for the police. As part of their training Immigration Officers (and customs officers employed as immigration officers under the Immigration Act 1971) are made aware of their powers of examination under the 1984 Act have have instructions to bring to the attention of the police any matter which might involve international terrorism.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals have been successfully contacted since 1974 in connection with the three yearly reviews of exclusion orders under the Prevention of Terrorism Act; in how many cases personal interviews have been carried out; what is the criteria for deciding whether a personal interview should be offered; and whether the information taken into account by the Secretary of State in connection with a review is always related to the three years immediately before the review.

Ninety-five persons against whom exclusion orders were made before the passing of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1984 have responded to invitations to have their cases reviewed under the 3-year procedure, which has been in operation since 1979. It is for the police, who provide me with up-to-date reports on each case, to decide whether or not they wish to interview a review applicant. Fifty-five persons have been invited to attend such an interview and 45 have in fact attended. My decision in any case is based on all the relevant information available to me, although particular attention is paid to information, or lack of it, about involvement in terrorism within the last three years. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has his own procedures for reviewing exclusion orders that he or his predecessors have made.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library a copy of the recommended text of the notice of prisoners' rights given to individuals in police custody and a copy of the recommended text given to individuals held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

A copy of the notice to prisoners has been placed in the Library. Persons detained under the prevention of terrorism legislation are given the same notice as persons detained under other legislation.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place a copy of the report of the Home Office working group on port units, issued in February 1985 by the Inspectorate of Constabularies, in the Library; and what measures are being considered in the light of the report with regard to passenger control and examination or detention of travellers under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

The report by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary on the work of the police in operating port controls under the prevention of terrorism legislation deals with security arrangements and is not suitable for publication. In the light of its conclusions on the use made of landing and embarkation cards my right hon. and learned Friend the then Home Secretary has decided that a selective use of the cards is to be preferred. Other recommendations are still being considered.