28 day limit to detain terrorism suspects without charge to be reviewed

New counter-terrorism legislation review to consider lowering the time limit.

The counter-terrorism legislation is due for renewal on July 24, with measures to be considered including lowering the 28 day limit to detain terrorism suspects without charge, the Telegraph have reported.

The Tories have given the current time limit of 28 days their conditional support but the Liberal Democrats made a manifesto commitment to cut the limit to 14 days.

Reducing the time limit may cause concern among senior police officers who have insisted that longer time limits are necessary in order to unravel complex terrorism plots.

The limit for terrorism suspects was pushed up under Labour from 24 hours, the standard time-limit for detaining suspects without charge, to seven days in 2000, 14 days in 2003 and 28 days in 2006. They then unsuccessfully attempted to increase it first to 90 days and then to 42 days.

Statistics show that between 2006 and 2007, ten people were held for between 14 and 28 days, of whom seven were charged and three released without charge.

Between 2007 and 2008, one person was held for 19 days and the following year no one was held for longer than 14 days.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty said: "The decision whether or not to renew pre-charge detention for 28 days is an early test of the new government’s reason and resolve."

"If younger democracies can charge or release suspects within a week, surely a period of nearly a month is shamefully long in the land of Magna Carta."

Further information:
The Telegraph

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