New Anti-Terrorism Powers

February 18, 2019

The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 has completed its parliamentary journey and will, in the main, come in to effect over the next few months.

The Home Secretary Sajid Javid claims that the Act:

‘…ensures sentencing for certain terrorism offences can properly reflect the severity of the crimes, as well as preventing re-offending and disrupting terrorist activity more rapidly.’

What are the key changes?

A new power to stop, question, search and detain an individual at a port or border area to determine whether they are, or have been, involved in hostile state activity.

A new offence of entering or remaining in an area outside the United Kingdom that has been designated by the Home Secretary if it is necessary for protecting the public from terrorism.

Updating the offence of obtaining information likely to be useful to a terrorist to cover material that is only viewed or streamed, rather than downloaded to form a permanent record.

A requirement for terrorist offenders to provide additional information to the police in line with what registered sex offenders must provide.

Sentencing changes

There has been an increase to the maximum penalty for a range of different terrorism offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 and 2006. From 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment for collection of information to aid terrorism or disclosure of information about the armed forces as well as 5 to 10 years for offences regarding information on acts of terrorism.

There has also been a large increase from 7 to 15 years maximum sentence for offences relating to the encouragement of terrorism and the distribution of publications supporting terrorism.

Overseas Production Orders

In addition to the new Terrorism Act, where a relevant international agreement is in place, the new Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act 2019 will allow police and prosecutors quicker access to electronic data held outside of the UK from overseas communications service provider (CSP).Supporting investigations into crimes such as child sexual exploitation and terrorism.

Currently, when law enforcement agencies want access to data held by a CSP overseas, mutual legal assistance channels are used which can take anywhere from six months to two years, resulting in delayed or sometimes abandoned investigations or prosecutions.

The act gives law enforcement agencies the ability to apply to a UK judge for an overseas production order which, if granted, will require the specified CSP to provide, or allow access to, stored electronic data for investigating and prosecuting serious crimes.

The legislation also requires the government to seek death penalty assurances in any relevant international agreement.

How Tuckers Solicitors can help you…

To discuss anything to do with new anti-terrorism powers please contact us on 020 7388 8333 or email and we will gladly assist.  

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to deliver immediate and expert legal advice and representation.