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UK Home Secretary announces new control order measures

After a review of counter-terrorist measures, Theresa May has announced her recommendations for restoring “British freedoms” – but civil rights group is not convinced.

BRITISH CONTROL ORDERS are to be replaced by the end of this year following a review of counter-terrorism measures in the UK.

Announcing the changeover, Home Secretary Theresa May said the new orders would be better focused.

She said that for “too long the balance between security and British freedoms has not been the right one”.

A statement from the Home Office said that the recommendations “are designed to restore British freedoms while enabling the police and security services to continue to protect the public and national security”.

The Home Office recommends limiting detention without charge from 28 to 14 days, and ending the indiscriminate use of terrorism stop and search powers.

Control orders – which can restrict a person’s place of residence, their travel, and place of work – will be limited to two years. The review says that greater efforts should be made to deport foreign nationals who are engaged in terrorism “while fully respecting our human rights obligations”.

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The director of human rights campaign group Liberty said that the Home Secretary’s review had left out the most serious aspects of the control orders.

Shami Chakrabarti said the group welcomed changes to the stop and search and 28-day detention measures, but said the government “appears to have bottled it” over punishment without trial. He added:

As before, the innocent may be punished without a fair hearing and the guilty will escape the full force of criminal law. This leaves a familiar bitter taste. Parliament must now decide whether the final flavour will be of progress, disappointment or downright betrayal.

Legislation will now be brought forward to parliament for debate.

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