...and yet the UK government is implementing a hugely expensive and invasive surveillance regime to ensure that it's citizens are safe from those terrorist boogeymen...I hate to see what happens when the government decides to go after the bees!
|Government watchdog suggests some relaxation in U.K. anti-terrorist laws.|
By David Perera, June 28, 2012
A government-appointed independent reviewer of British anti-terrorist law suggests in an annual report released June 27 that the U.K. government could relax some provisions of the Terrorist Acts, for example by allowing "peripheral players" arrested under the acts to post bail.
The reviewer, David Anderson, a London-based attorney, calls the threat of terrorism in the United Kingdom "sometimes exaggerated for political or commercial purposes," and notes in his report (pdf) that the annual average of five deaths caused by terrorism in England and Wales in the 21st century is the same as the average number of people annually killed there by stings of hornets, wasps and bees.
More people have died on average this century in England and Wales from traffic accidents (123 on average per year) and in bathtub drownings (on average 29 per year), he adds.
The risk of al Qaeda-related terrorism in the United Kingdom does remain real, Anderson says, but it "should not be overstated." He also notes that while some plots were detected and foiled in 2011, arrests, charges and convictions of terrorist offenses in Great Britain "have declined markedly since the middle of the last decade."
He applauds the current coalition government of the United Kingdom (consisting of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties) for ordering the end in 2011 of law enforcement no-suspicion stop and search power and reducing the number of days terrorist suspects can be detained prior to charge to 14 days, down from 28 days.
He also suggests that government proscriptions of organizations as terrorist organizations should be limited to cases "when it will be of real utility in protecting the public, whether in the UK or elsewhere," and that listings on the government directory of terrorism organizations should expire after a set period, perhaps of 2 years.
The government has proscribed separatist national movements bearing little relation to international terrorism, Anderson says, adding that proscription as currently undertaken can be "a cheap and straightforward way of achieving foreign policy objectives."
- download Anderson's review of British Terrorist Acts laws
- go to the website of the U.K. independent reviewer or terrorism legislation