White Scot was stopped on way to catching a train

December 15th, 2007 - 7:00 pm ICT by admin  

Edinburgh, Dec.15 (ANI): Chris Drew, a white apprentice quantity surveyor, had his bag searched by British Transport Police at Edinburgh’s Waverley station earlier this year.
An officer approached Drew, 23, as he entered the train station in July.
“The only reason they gave for stopping me was that I was being stopped under Section 22 of the Terrorism Act,” The Scotsman quoted Drew, as saying.
Drew, who is white and has a long beard, said: “I know I don’t look ‘normal’ as such, but they were stopping other people around me.”
The officer asked a number of questions concerning his name, address and date of place of birth, and recorded the answers on a form.
A physical description of Drew, including what he was wearing, was noted.
He said: “The policeman was very polite and didn’t offend me in any way. They didn’t ask for my ethnicity.”
The search lasted only a few minutes and Drew was able to catch his train.
The policeman handed him a pink copy of the form as a record of the search.
Officers are given a wide array of new powers. Stop and search is among an array of powers given to police under recent anti-terror laws. The most controversial is the power to detain a suspect without charge for up to 28 days.
Anti-terror detention powers were used against Mohammed Atif Siddique, the student convicted of using the Internet to encourage an act of terrorism. He was detained for 14 days before he was charged.
The government wants to extend the limit to 42 days, but faces a battle to get the legislation through parliament.
Under various anti-terror laws passed since 2000, police have the power to designate “cordoned” areas for terrorist investigations, for up to 28 days.
It is also now an offence to organise, take part in or carry on with a demonstration in a “public place” in a “designated area” unless, when that demonstration starts, authorisation has been given.
A police officer is free to arrest - without a warrant - any person he or she suspects of being a terrorist.
Police may also be able to seize money if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that it is “terrorist cash”. (ANI)

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