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Terrorism Act: Section 44 Powers

Volume 710: debated on Monday 11 May 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the grounds for stopping a motorist under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000; whether the police are expected to give reasons for stopping a motorist; and what guidance has been given to police forces on how they exercise their powers under Section 44. [HL3249]

Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 provides that a police constable in uniform may stop a vehicle in an authorised stop-and-search area and search the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle, a passenger in the vehicle and anything in or on the vehicle or carried by the driver or a passenger. Section 45 of the Terrorism Act 2000 provides that the power conferred by Section 44 may be exercised only for the purpose of searching for articles of a kind which could be used in connection with terrorism and that it may be exercised whether or not the constable has grounds for suspecting the presence of the articles of that kind.

The Practice Advice On Stop and Search 2006 advises that a form must be completed at all stops and that the constable must provide the person stopped with a copy of the completed form.

In November 2008 the National Policing Improvement Agency issued to all police forces revised operational guidance on Section 44 stop and search.