The National Police Improvement Agency, on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers has now issued some updated advice:
Every person searched under section 44 should be told explicitly that they are not suspected of being a terrorist.
This is rather misleading, since if you are stupid enough to allow the Police conducting a Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 stop and search to take your Name and Address etc, something which they have no power to demand under that particular section, but which they very often attempt to do, especially when completing the cumbersome paper Stop and Search Form (or the new, supposedly quicker electronic version), you will eventually have this data logged on an electronic database, which may well be handed over in bulk to foreign police and intelligence agencies.
This information could also be disclosed , to your detriment when applying for jobs, in future Criminal Records Bureau Enhanced Disclosures.
The "Good News" is that this NPIA / ACPO practice advice, which must surely form the basis of the training and operational briefing of Police Officers, specifically re-iterates that there are no restrictions on Photography or Digital Imaging conferred by the Terrorism Act 2000.
The Terrorism Act 2000 does not prohibit people from taking photographs or digital images in an area where an authority under section 44 is in place. Officers should not prevent people taking photographs unless they are in an area where photography is prevented by other legislation.
If officers reasonably suspect that photographs are being taken as part of hostile terrorist reconnaissance, a search under section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 or an arrest should be considered. Film and memory cards may be seized as part of the search, but officers do not have a legal power to delete images or destroy film. Although images may be viewed as part of a search, to preserve evidence when cameras or other devices are seized, officers should not normally attempt to examine them. Cameras and other devices should be left in the state they were found and forwarded to appropriately trained staff for forensic examination. The person being searched should never be asked or allowed to turn the device on or off because of the danger of evidence being lost or damaged.
The only places where such "other legislation" currently seems to apply are "Prohibited Places" e.g. Military Bases, Licensed Nuclear Sites, Airports and offices owned by the Civil Aviation Authority e.g. Heathrow, offices or Telephone or Internet Exchanges owned by Communications Service Providers.
This list of Prohibited Places no longer includes many Government buildings and offices which have been sold off and leased back under Public Finance Initiatives etc.
It is possible for a Secretary of State to specifically "declare" a site as a "Prohibited Place" under the Official Secrets Act 1911, but, currently there do not seem to be any such special designations in force - see the results of our FOIA request: Current Prohibited Places under the Official Secrets Act 1911
The suggested Aide Memoire for Police Officers (i.e. sworn Police Constables in Uniform, or Police Community Support Officers who they are directly assisting them with the mechanics of a search, but not those PCSOs acting without a real Police Constable being physically present):
Terrorism powers must never be used for matters that are not related to terrorism.
Officers should take care to correctly record the power used on the record of search. Officers searching under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (but not section 43) can require subjects to remove footwear and headgear in public. (Officers should be aware of cultural sensitivities when requiring people to remove headgear .)
There is no power to stop people taking photographs or digital images in public places under the Terrorism Act 2000.
Terrorism powers of search should be conducted in accordance with the principles of Code A of PACE
It is interesting to note that the NPIA / ACPO seem to mandate some form of Community Impact Assessment, and telling the local Police Authority about areas which are subjected to the extraordinary Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 stop and search without reasonable suspicion powers, especially where they get renewed over and over again.
Communities should be informed of the existence and location of a section 44 authorisation - unless it is not operationally appropriate
This contrasts with the Home Office's refusal to divulge simply the approximate geographical extent and the times and dates of where and when these extraordinary, temporary powers, are in force. They are refusing to disclose any such information at all.
We have been waiting over a year for the Information Commissioner's Office to look into this stupid and counterproductive unnecessary secrecy for what is meant to be a deterrent power, exercised in public. - see our Spy Blog UK FOIA request category archive HO Terrorism Act 2000 s44 Authorisations