The use of Schedule 7 powers of examination is an important tool in countering terrorism and those who would seek to do harm to the UK and its interests. Terrorists often need to travel across borders to plan, prepare and initiate their acts and these powers are essential in identifying those individuals.
Examinations for longer than one hour are recorded centrally; there were over 10,400 examinations in the period between 1 January 2004 and 30 September 2009.
Of these 1,110 persons were detained under the examining officer powers in Schedule 7 and 8 for the same period.
There were 99 arrests of persons examined under Schedule 7 during this period for terrorism related offences, of which 17 were initially charged in relation to offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 and 31 were charged with other terrorist related offences.
Of those charges there were 43 convictions. Some individuals will have been charged with more than one offence or had a charge varied later on advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.
The powers contained in Schedule 7 are kept under scrutiny by the noble Lord Carlile of Berriew, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation. Lord Carlile has commented and made recommendations as to the use of these powers but has consistently found the powers to be necessary and proportionate.