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Anti-Terrorism Measures

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will hold an inquiry into how anti-terrorism legislation is performing, with specific reference to the monitoring of police use of that legislation. [130579]

All current anti-terrorism legislation—the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001—is subject to independent review.The Terrorism Act 2000 is reviewed annually by an independent reviewer who is currently Lord Carlile of Berriew QC. This is a statutory requirement and a report of his review will be laid before both Houses.The powers contained within the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 are currently being reviewed by a committee of nine Privy Counsellors chaired by Lord Newton of Braintree. This is also a statutory requirement and is scheduled to be completed by 13 December this year.Both reports will be comprehensive reviews of the operation of the powers under the legislation.In addition, where specific concerns arise, I have sought reviews from the relevant force and they in turn have taken appropriate steps to review their own operational procedures.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps have been taken to establish a closer working relationship between the CPS and the (a) National Crime Squad and (b) Anti-Terrorist Branch of the Metropolitan Police on (i) terrorism and (ii) other international, serious organised crime. [128864]

The already close working between the three organisations is continually being reviewed with a view to improvement. For example, the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) Central Casework Unit now becomes involved at the earliest stage of an investigation and provides pre-charge advice to the Anti-Terrorist Branch.A more recent development is the completion of a pilot scheme between the National Crime Squad's (NCS) Special Casework Division and the CPS in the preparation of cases concerned with serious and organised crime.I understand that this scheme has proved successful for all parties and will be extended further.The working arrangements between the CPS, NCS and police and other law enforcement agencies dealing with serious organised crime will be significantly enhanced as a result of the recent establishment by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister at a Cabinet Committee on organised crime chaired by myself.