I am announcing today, our intention to renew the current maximum period for pre-charge detention of terrorist suspects a period of 6 months, and I have laid a draft order to that effect.
Section 23 of the Terrorism Act 2006 extended the maximum period of detention of terrorist suspects before charge from 14 days to 28 days. Section 25 of that Act says that the 28 day period of detention must be renewed by order if it is to remain in place.
It is vital that we support the police and other agencies in their work to keep us safe from terrorism. We face a serious threat, and the nature of modern international terrorism means that police investigations can be longer and more complex than they have been in the past. At the same time, as a Government we are also committed to safeguarding the rights and liberties of the public.
To ensure this balance is appropriately set, the Government has made clear its commitment to review counter-terrorism legislation and pre-charge detention will form part of that review. That review is due to report to Parliament in the autumn, but in the meantime the current, and exceptional, 28 day maximum period of pre-charge detention for terrorist suspects will expire on 24 July.
However, whilst we would not wish to pre-judge the outcome of the review, both parties in the coalition are clear that the 28 day maximum period should be a temporary measure and one that we will be looking to reduce it over time.
Secretary of State for the Home Department, Rt. Hon. Theresa May
24 June 2010