Government Could Forcibly Relocate Terror Suspects
PRESS ASSOCIATION - The Government is planning emergency powers to forcibly relocate terror suspects, months after pledging to scrap the existing measure.
The emergency legislation would enable the Home Secretary to specify more stringent restrictions on suspected terrorists in exceptional circumstances, according to the Home Office.
These would include "the power to relocate the individual without their consent to a different part of the country, geographical boundaries, and tighter restrictions on association and communications", said the Home Office.
The enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill will be put before Parliament "should exceptional circumstances arise", the Home Office said.
Under the planned measures, the Home Secretary "may impose restrictions on the individual leaving a specified area or travelling outside that area", the draft Bill said. A suspect under such an order may also be forced to hand in their passport.
The Home Secretary could also impose "restrictions on the individual's possession or use of electronic communication devices", including both computers and telephones. Further restrictions could also be imposed to limit who the suspect communicates or associates with, where the suspect works or what he or she studies.
Home Secretary Theresa May's decision to impose a control order on a terror suspect banned from London was upheld by the High Court in July. Mr Justice Owen, sitting in London, ruled that the restrictions imposed on CD's freedom, including the decision to relocate him from London to a Midlands city, were a "necessary and proportionate measure for the protection of the public from the risk presented by CD and his associates".
The judge said he was satisfied that there were reasonable grounds for suspecting that CD, who cannot be named for legal reasons, "is a leading figure in a network of Islamist extremists based in north London and has been involved in planning an attack or attacks on members of the public".
The relocation powers were ditched by the coalition under the new terrorist prevention and investigation measures, which will replace control orders from next year.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper warned MPs that plans to water down the control orders would mean that CD could no longer be stopped from living in the capital. But, under the draft emergency legislation, such powers would be able to be brought back in exceptional circumstances.