3. What additional funding she has made available to the security agencies to cover costs associated with the ending of TPIMs. (902905)
Additional funding of tens of millions of pounds has been made available to the police and the Security Service each year for surveillance, technical capabilities and other measures to mitigate the overall risk as part of the TPIMs package. That has significantly enhanced the police and Security Service’s counter-terrorism capabilities.
I am grateful to the hon. Lady, because her question allows me to confirm that there is no intention of reducing the additional funds that have been made available. We have also increased spending on the security and intelligence agencies, and protected counter-terrorism policing budgets to ensure that capabilities are maintained. That includes resources for surveillance and the management of TPIMs subjects.
There are reports that around 400 Brits have travelled to Syria to fight in the terrible conflict there, and that around 250 of them have returned to the UK. There is therefore a pressing and urgent need to set out the measures which will be used to manage the threats that individuals may pose to the UK after TPIMs expire. Why is there a delay in providing the details of those measures?
There is no delay. The UK has some of the most robust and effective legislation in the world to deal with terrorist suspects and we will not hesitate to use every power at our disposal to protect the security of this country. The hon. Lady makes a fair point in relation to travel to Syria. We are very clear that people should not travel to Syria, and our counter-terrorism legislation is there to uphold the law. We are using the royal prerogative to remove passports from British nationals who it is believed wish to travel abroad to take part in activities such as terrorist training or other fighting.
My hon. Friend has consistently made this point about human rights, and he is obviously well aware of a number of the measures that we have been looking at. Clearly, we have taken steps to ensure, for example, that we are better able to deport individuals and that our focus remains on deportation with assurance to ensure that those who would cause us harm and can be removed are removed from this country.
Does my hon. Friend agree that TPIMs are but a part of the array of powers available to the police and surveillance services to protect us from harm, and that they are far more able to withstand the sort of legal challenges that caused huge problems under the previous control order regime?
My hon. Friend makes an important point. What the Opposition do not say when they raise this issue is that control orders were struck down on a number of occasions for a range of reasons. I am clear that prosecution is always the best route to deal with terrorists, and we should recognise the success of our agencies in securing the conviction of 40 individuals for terrorism-related offences in the past year.