- Terrorist offences
- Police powers
- Detention and deportation
- Terrorism Act 2006 - new offences
- Practical advice
Stop and search in designated areas (S44 to S47, TA 2000)
Under s 44 TA 2000 a senior police officer may designate specified areas or places in which an officer in uniform may stop and search vehicles, drivers or pedestrians. An authorisation may only be given if the senior officer “considers in expedient for the prevention of acts of terrorism.”
The power under s 44 may only be exercised for the purpose of searching for articles of a kind which could be used in connection with terrorism, but there is no need for the officer who conducts the search to have grounds to suspect the presence of such articles. Articles the officer reasonably believes are intended to be used in connection with terrorism may be seized and retained.
Where an officer carries out a search under s 44 he may only require the suspect to remove his outer coat, jacket, gloves, headgear or footwear. He may seize and retain any item he reasonably suspects is intended to be used in connection with terrorism. The suspect or vehicle may be detained for as long as reasonably required for the search to be carried out near to the place he has been stopped.
If a senior police officer grants an authorisation under s 44, the Home Secretary must be notified. Any authorisation may be for a maximum period of 28 days (or 48 hours, if the Home Secretary’s confirmation is not granted).
It is an offence to fail to stop (or to stop a vehicle) when required to by an officer under s 44. This offence carries a maximum penalty of 6 months' imprisonment.