The bill is a key milestone in the delivery of the coalition government’s commitment to rebalance security powers and civil liberties by restoring liberties where possible and refocusing powers where necessary.
Under the new regime 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.
They will be proportionate and clearly justified and it will be clearer what restrictions can and cannot be imposed.
Home Secretary’s statement
Home Secretary Theresa May said: ‘The threat from terrorism remains serious and complex and the first duty of this government is to protect national security and public safety.
‘Our absolute priority is to prosecute and convict suspected terrorists in open court. But there will remain a small number of people who pose a real threat to our security but who cannot be prosecuted or, in the case of foreign nationals, deported.
‘The new regime of Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures will mean these individuals cannot go freely about their terrorism-related activities, and we can protect the public from the threat they pose.’
These measures will be accompanied by an increase in funding for the police and Security Service to enhance their investigative capabilities, which will complement the new regime.
Today’s bill sets out the key features of the new Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures. Under the new regime:
- there will be a two year maximum time limit beyond which it will only be possible to impose new measures if there is evidence of further engagement in terrorism
- the Home Secretary must have reasonable grounds to believe that an individual is or has been involved in terrorism-related activity - a higher test than under the control order regime - and be satisfied that it is necessary to impose the measures to protect the public from a risk of terrorism
- curfews will be replaced by a more flexible overnight residence requirement
- relocation to another part of the country without consent will be scrapped
- geographical boundaries will be replaced with the more limited power to impose tightly-defined exclusions from particular areas
The bill will now pass through Parliament, which will have the opportunity to thoroughly scrutinise this legislation.
During this time the existing control order regime will remain in place, to ensure that there is no gap in public protection and that restrictions remain in force on the terrorism-related activities of those subject to the orders.
Notes to editors
The Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill and accompanying impact assessments can be found on this website.
The repeal of the current control order regime and its replacement with Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures was announced in the Review of Counter-Terrorism and Security Powers: Findings and Recommendations, which can be found on this website.
The CT Review was launched in July last year and was asked to look at the issues of security and civil liberties in relation to the most sensitive and controversial security powers. The aim of the review was to ensure that the powers and measures it looked at are necessary, effective and proportionate, and meet the UK’s international and domestic human rights obligations.