Specialists in Serious Fraud and Complex Criminal Defence
MPR Solicitors instructed in Schedule 7 Terrorism Act case
MPR solicitors were asked to represent an individual stopped under the UK’s most draconian stop and search powers introduced by Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 at Heathrow Airport. The client was entering the UK from the Middle East and was a suspected terrorist with links to underground opposition parties in Bahrain and Al Quaeda. One of MPR’s expert criminal solicitors in Terrorism Law was instructed to advise and represent. The case was successfully resolved after the advice given by specialist Terrorism lawyer at MPR Solicitors. Our client’s main concern was not to be associated with the false accusations of being involved in terrorist activities or being linked to underground organisations in his country of origin.
Under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, police officers are able to stop, interrogate and search travellers at UK ports and airports without the need for reasonable suspicion that the individual is or has been “concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism”. The powers have in the past exclusively been used by Special Branch officers because of the sensitive nature of much of the intelligence which forms the basis of the stop and search. However, there appears to be an increasing and alarming trend that officers from other areas of the police service and also officials from UKBA are using these powers to conduct stop and search at ports and airports.
Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act allows officers to physically detain suspects for up to 9 hours, strip search them, search and confiscate their belongings for up to 7 days, take DNA, fingerprints and intimate samples and question suspects about their social, religious and political views. Whilst technically not under arrest, and not automatically entitled to consult a lawyer, you can in most cases consult with a lawyer over the telephone and request physical legal representation although if there is a long delay in the arrival of your legal representative, you may be charged with obstruction and any refusal to answer questions is an offence for which the penalty is a custodial sentence and a fine.
At MPR Solicitors, we are uniquely placed to provide rapid deployment of expert legal advice at Heathrow Airport and surrounding detention areas as our Head Offices are located in Hounslow within 15 minutes of Heathrow Airport and its perimeter roads and only 1 hour away from Central London. We also have connections to Gatwick Airport and are able to deploy legal representatives fast and efficiently to assist in emergency situations. Our City of London office can deal with any major terrorism case within Central London.
MPR Solicitors will deploy its expert terrorism lawyers anywhere within the jurisdiction of England and Wales and we pride ourselves in offering a 24 hour, 7 days a week, fast and highly specialist service.
We have close links with specialist chambers dealing with terrorism and extradition cases and we can instruct expert barristers and QCs to form a pro-active defence team in a client’s case.