Baker: “innocent train-spotters” hassled under anti-terrorism laws

Lib Dem MP Norman Baker has revealed that an astonishing 150,000 have been questioned by police at railway stations under the aegis of legislation designed to prevent terrorists. The Telegraph has the full story:

The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2000 has been used to stop 62,584 people at railway stations and another 87,000 were questioned under “stop and search” and “stop and account” legislation. Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Norman Baker, who uncovered the figures, warned that Britain was heading towards a “police state”.

He said: “Law-abiding passengers get enough hassle on overcrowded trains as it is without the added inconvenience of over-zealous policing. The anti-terror laws allow officers to stop people for taking photographs and I know this has led to innocent trainspotters being stopped. This is an abuse of anti-terrorism powers and a worrying sign that we are sliding towards a police state. Trainspotting may be an activity of limited, and indeed questionable, appeal, but it is not a criminal offence and it is not a terrorist threat.”

The revelation will increase concern that the controversial anti-terror powers are being used “disproportionately”. The Liberal Democrat MP added: “While it is important to be vigilant about the threat of terrorism to the transport network, the sheer scale of the number of people stopped by police on railway property is ridiculous.”

In a letter to Mr Baker, Ian Johnston, the British Transport Police’s Chief Constable, said: “There is clear guidance available to officers (and railway enthusiasts), and this has been reissued on a number of occasions over the last couple of months in response to the increased concern among some railway enthusiasts.”

LDV readers wondering what they can do about Labour’s moves towards creating a police state might like to read Alex Foster’s Enough Is Enough article, posted to the site yesterday.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

3 Comments

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin
    As for the link, it is a very considered piece. But it is designed to support the writer's viewpoint, as I mention, he almost seems to push the view , he was wr...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    Laurence Cox Very unsure as why you presume i did my best to avoid your link, when I did no such thing! You presume you know a lot about my approach but seem...
  • David Raw
    On topic : How Sir Edward's comments were reported in the Glasgow Herald : "THE Liberal Democrat leader has said his party is no longer interested in t...
  • Katharine Pindar
    Peter Hirst, that is an admirable idea. But it seems that the Federal Conference Committee will decide on what is going to be debated regardless of any strength...
  • Laurence Cox
    @Lorenzo Cherin Since you haven't bothered to read the reference I cited, here is what Tom Chivers says: "Similarly, there’s been a bit of a hoo-hah abo...