These statistics have been collated from a variety of different sources, which have differing ways of categorising and describing ‘race’ and ethnicity. (For example, some sources differentiate between particular black ‘groups’ whilst others do not. Some sources may just use the term Asian, others may differentiate between different Asian groups or different religious groups.) Where we have used other organisations’ statistics, we have followed the categorisation/names used by them – which means that there may be inconsistencies in terminology within and between pages.
Several anti-terrorism acts have been enacted in the 21st Century, each raising concerns about the extent to which they have curtailed civil-liberties and impacted disproportionately on BME communities.
S44 of the Terrorism Act 200
S44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 gave police the power, in designated areas, to stop and search an individual without having any reasonable suspicion of them having committed an offence.
Between 2006/07 and 2007/08 the number of black people stopped and searched under this power rose by 322 per cent and the number of Asian people by 277 per cent.
In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that stops-and-searches under S44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 were illegal as there were inadequate safeguards against abuse.
Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000
Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 gives police the power to stop people at airports and ports without any reasonable suspicion that they have committed an offence. In 2011/12 this power was used 63,902 times. 56 per cent of the people stopped under schedule 7 were from BME communities and, of those questioned for more than one hour, 77 per cent were from BME communities.
Individuals from BME communities are also much more likely than people from white communities to be held for more than one hour.
Police officers can stop and search a person who they ‘reasonably suspect’ is involved in terrorist activity. This power does not need authorisation from senior police officers. In 2011/12, 819 people were stopped and searched under this power. 36 per cent of these people were White; 37 per cent were Asian. Of the total number of stop and searched, 3.5 per cent (29 people) led to arrests.