Published Date: Oct 2015
A Police Ombudsman investigation has concluded that police properly reviewed whether it was appropriate to continue to detain a man under the Terrorism Act 2000 in May 2014.
The Chief Constable asked the Police Ombudsman to investigate after receiving correspondence suggesting that police had not properly considered whether it was necessary to keep the man in custody.
The Terrorism Act specifies that the continued detention of a person shall be periodically reviewed – the first review taking place as soon as is reasonably practicable following detention, and subsequent reviews at intervals of not more than 12 hours.
The man’s lawyer was present during the first review, at which stage both he and his client argued that there were no grounds for ongoing detention.
The lawyer told Police Ombudsman investigators that while their representations had been accurately recorded by the reviewing officer, the speed of the officer’s decision to authorise the man’s continued detention caused him concern. He believed the officer had not given proper consideration to what were detailed submissions.
The lawyer was not present when the man’s detention was reviewed for a second time less than 12 hours later.
Police Ombudsman investigators examined police paperwork and confirmed that the issues raised by the detainee and his legal representative had been properly documented by police, along with the rationale for continued detention.
The officer who conducted the first review advised that he had considered the representations made to him, along with other information, and satisfied himself that it was necessary to continue to hold the man.
The second reviewing officer confirmed that he had also reviewed the man’s detention and decided it was necessary to continue to hold him, and had also applied to a court for a warrant of further detention, which was subsequently granted.
The Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, concluded that the reviewing officers had fulfilled their responsibilities “to adequately consider the representations made to them”. He found that the reviews conducted by both officers were in line with the requirements of the Terrorism Act and the relevant sections of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.