The Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIM) Act received Royal Assent on 14 December 2011. The bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 23 May 2011, and passed into the House of Lords on 6 September 2011.
On 26 January 2011 the Home Secretary announced the outcome of the review of counter-terrorism and security powers, including the review of control orders. This included a commitment which repealed control orders and replaced them with a more focused and less intrusive system of terrorism prevention and investigation measures.
The new system protects the public from individuals who pose a real terrorist threat, but whom we cannot prosecute or, in the case of foreign nationals, deport.
The TPIM Act marked a key milestone in the government’s programme to rebalance intrusive security powers and increase safeguards for civil liberties.
Additional powers were introduced as part of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, further enhancing the ability of operational agencies to monitor and control the actions of those who pose a threat.
What does the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act do?
The act includes the following provisions:
- repeal of control orders (Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005)
- introduction of replacement system of terrorism prevention and investigation measures
- increased safeguards for the civil liberties of individuals subject to the measures, including:
- higher test for the measures to be imposed than exists for control orders
- maximum time limit of 2 years - further measures can only then be imposed if the person has re-engaged in terrorism
- restrictions that impact on an individual’s ability to follow a normal pattern of daily life will be kept to the minimum necessary to protect the public, and will be proportionate and clearly justified
It will be much clearer what restrictions can and cannot be imposed, including:
- lengthy curfews will be replaced by a more flexible overnight residence requirement
- geographical boundaries will be replaced with the more limited power to impose tightly-defined exclusions from particular areas
- individuals subject to the measures must be permitted a landline and a mobile telephone, and a computer with internet connection
- broad judicial oversight of the system
- high court permission will be needed to impose the measures (or to immediately confirm measures imposed in urgent cases)
- there will be a full automatic review of each case in which measures will be imposed
- rights of appeal for the individual against refusal of a request to revoke or vary the measures
- a duty on the Secretary of State to consult on the prospects of prosecuting an individual before measures may be imposed, and a duty to keep the necessity of the measures under review while they are in force
- the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation publishes an annual review of the operation of the system
Enhanced Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill
The review of counter-terrorism and security powers also concluded that there may be exceptional circumstances where it would be necessary for the government to seek parliamentary approval for additional restrictive measures.
The government therefore published on 1 September 2011 draft emergency legislation - the Enhanced TPIM Bill - for introduction should such exceptional circumstances arise.
The Enhanced TPIM Bill provides powers for the Home Secretary to impose enhanced TPIM notices specifying more stringent restrictions than those available under the TPIM Act, if approved by Parliament. These 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.
Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
Under Part 2 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, a TPIM notice can also:
- require the individual to reside in a property up to 200 miles away from their own residence (Clause 17 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 required the Secretary of State to publish factors that she considers appropriate to take into account when deciding whether to relocate an individual. These factors were published in House of Commons Written Statement 287)
- ban the individual from possessing certain weapons
- require the individual to attend appointments arranged by the Secretary of State