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  1. National

Stop and search review 'important for public confidence'

Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said:

The fact that just 9% of stop-and-searches lead to an arrest clearly demonstrates that the current system is not working.

Under the last Government, stop-and-search spiralled out of control, with hundreds of thousands of innocent people stopped and searched without any good reason.

If public confidence in the police is to be maintained, these sort of powers must be used in a far more targeted way and the pilot schemes already undertaken demonstrate this is possible without jeopardising public safety.

Today's statement is an important step towards ensuring the public, particularly people from ethnic minorities, can have confidence that they can walk the streets without fearing they will be subject to further unjustified use of stop-and-search powers.

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Consultation to ensure fair use of stop and search

Home Secretary Theresa May is set to announce a consultation on stop and search Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Theresa May, who is understood to have a particular interest in stop and search and its use, is set to announce a fresh consultation on the powers in the House of Commons to ensure they are being used fairly.

The move comes just a few weeks after the Government's equality watchdog said police forces are being fairer and more efficient in their use of stop-and-search powers.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that five forces, including the Metropolitan Police, had reduced their use of stop and search powers without compromising crime reduction.

In addition, Mrs May has asked Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to report on how the police use these powers and their report is due within a few weeks.

In 2010, the EHRC's Stop And Think report showed that at that time, nationally, black and Asian people were respectively six and two times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.

As a result of an 18-month action programme supervised by the Commission, all but one of five forces covered saw drops in their disproportionate use of stop and search against black and Asian people.

  1. National

Study: Black people six times as likely to be stopped

In 2010, the government's equality watchdog released a report on the use of stop and search powers in 42 policing areas over five years.

The report concluded that "racial stereotyping and discrimination are significant factors" in the varying rates at which people are stopped and searched.

  • Black people six times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people
  • Asian people twice as likely to be stopped and searched than white people
  • Some of the highest racially disproportionate rates were seen in the West Midlands, Thames Valley, West Mercia and South Yorkshire

A follow-up trial with five police forces found that they were able to reduce their use of stop and search power by up to 50 percent while continuing to see a reduction in crime rates.

May signs treaty over Abu Qatada deportation

Home Secretary Theresa May has told MPs that a new treaty signed by the British and Jordanian governments will "finally make possible" the deportation of the radical cleric Abu Qatada.

Qatada, who lives in London, faces terror charges in Jordan.

His legal team claims evidence obtained by torture could be presented in a re-trial.

But Mrs May also warned that even with the treaty, Qatada can still appeal against any new rulings on his extradition.

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  1. National

Theresa May criticised by Tory colleague over Qatada

Mark Reckless says the European Court has moved the goalposts over Qatada. Credit: ITV News

Conservative MP Mark Reckless has criticised Theresa May’s legal strategy over the attempted deportation of Abu Qatada – but added that she has one more chance to succeed.

He said: “The Home Secretary has pursued throughout the wrong legal strategy, she’s got one last chance and what she needs to do is to put the key constitutional questions to the Supreme Court – who has the last word, Strasbourg or the Supreme Court?

"If she does that, I think she can still win.”

The Court of Appeal turned down May’s attempt to take to the Supreme Court her fight to have Qatada deported and she will now appeal directly to the highest court in the country.

Reckless added: “There is a real chance but she needs a proper point of law to argue…

“She needs to make this big constitutional argument because we can win that.”

  1. National

Yvette Cooper condemns efforts to deport Qatada

Yvette Cooper says there is a risk Abu Qatada will return to the streets. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has criticised Theresa May's efforts to deport Abu Qatada, saying her strategy has "completely failed".

She said: “A year ago Theresa May promised Abu Qatada would soon be on a plane. Now it is clear her legal strategy has completely failed...

“Theresa May failed to appeal against the European Court decision last year. It is no good the Home Secretary blaming the Court when she didn't appeal when she had the chance."

  1. National

What next for the government over Abu Qatada?

The Home Office said it was 'disappointed' by the Court of Appeal's decision. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Government has been refused permission to take its fight to remove preacher Abu Qatada from the UK to the Supreme Court, but the affair is not at an end.

The Home Office will now request permission to appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

Three Supreme Court justices are expected to consider that appeal, which is set to be presented on paper rather than in the form of a full hearing.

The decision could be overturned if the justices are convinced there is a "point of law of general public importance".

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