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  1. ITV Report

Lie detector tests planned for terrorists to prove they have reformed

Terrorists could be made to take a lie detector test to prove they have reformed and are not planning to carry out another attack.

Forensic team on London Bridge after a knife attack in November 2019 Credit: PA

Plans to introduce polygraph testing were announced by the Government as part of a wave of measures being described as a major overhaul in the way terrorists are punished and monitored, including tougher sentences to see them locked up for longer.

It is understood there are hopes that terrorists who are going to be out on licence could be made to take the test in a similar way to which sex offenders are sometimes questioned to check their behaviour.

More details of The Counter Terrorism Bill have been released after plans for change were put in place in the wake of the latest London Bridge attack and later announced during the Queen's Speech.

A forensic officer on London Bridge

It is less than two months since convicted terrorist Usman Khan embarked on a killing spree armed with two knives and wearing a fake suicide vest after attending a prisoner rehabilitation programme near London Bridge.

Describing the move as a "major shift" in the UK's approach to the sentencing and management of terrorist offenders, the announcement from the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice also promised to:

  • Force dangerous terrorists who receive extended determinate sentences to serve the whole time behind bars
  • Ensure those convicted of serious offences such as preparing acts of terrorism or directing a terrorist organisation would have to spend a minimum of 14 years in jail
  • Scrap early release from jail for those classed as dangerous and handed extended determinate sentences - in which criminals have to spend longer on licence after prison
  • Double the number of counter-terrorism probation officers
  • Make more places available in probation hostels so authorities can monitor terrorists in the weeks after they are released from prison
  • Increase counter-terrorism policing funding by #90 million year on year for the coming year to £906 million
  • Give an immediate £500,000 cash injection for support for victims of terrorism and a review of services available
  • Provide more specialist psychologists and trained imams who help to assess the risk of radicalised offenders
  • Offer more training for frontline prison and probation staff to identify and challenge extremism behind bars and on licence

The senseless terror attack at Fishmongers' Hall in November confronted us with some hard truths about how we deal with terrorist offenders, which is why we immediately announced a review into sentencing and licence conditions, to do whatever is necessary to stop these sickening attacks from taking place. Today we are delivering on those promises.

– Priti Patel, Home Secretary