The bill will update, and close gaps in existing counter-terrorism legislation to ensure that it is fit for the digital age and reflect contemporary patterns of radicalisation. It was introduced to the House of Commons on 6 June 2018.
In addition, the bill will ensure that the punishment properly reflects the crime, better preventing re-offending, and ensure that terrorist offending can be disrupted more rapidly. It will also contribute to the government’s objective of hardening the UK’s defences against hostile state activity.
The main provisions will:
- extend the offence of inviting support for a proscribed organisation to cover expressions of support that are reckless as to whether they will encourage others to support the organisation
- clarify that the existing offence of displaying in a public place an image which arouses reasonable suspicion that the person is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation, covers the display of images online (including of a photograph taken in a private place)
- update the offence of obtaining information likely to be useful to a terrorist to cover terrorist material that is just viewed or streamed over the internet, rather than downloaded to form a permanent record
- confer extra-territorial jurisdiction on a number of further offences to ensure that individuals abroad can be prosecuted for having encouraged or carried out acts of terror overseas
- increase to 15 years’ imprisonment the maximum penalty for certain preparatory terrorism offences
- require Registered Terrorist Offenders to provide additional information to the police in line with what Registered Sex Offenders must provide
- add terrorism offences to the list of offences for which an individual can be subjected to a Serious Crime Prevention Order to enable the ongoing management of an individual convicted of a terrorism offence
- introduce a statutory bar on the admissibility as evidence in a criminal trial of oral admissions made in an examination at a port under a Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000
- amend the Terrorism Act 2000 so that the detention clock can be paused when a detained person is transferred from police custody to hospital
- amend the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 so that the government-backed terrorism reinsurer, Pool Re, can extend its business interruption cover to include losses that are not contingent on physical damage to property
- introduce a power to stop, question, search and detain an individual at a port or border area in order to determine whether they are, or have been, involved in hostile state activity
Documents related to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill can be found on the Parliament website.