Control orders to be watered down
Control orders used to keep tabs on suspected terrorists will be watered down and renamed, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.
But the new powers will no longer need to be reviewed every year, a clear signal that restrictions against suspected terrorists against whom prosecutions cannot be brought are here to stay.
The current 16-hour curfews will be replaced by an "overnight residence requirement", typically of between eight and 10 hours, Mrs May said.
The term "control order" has been scrapped and will be replaced with "Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures", or Tpims, Mrs May said.
The new powers will be limited to two years and will only be renewed "if there is new evidence that they have re-engaged in terrorism-related activities".
The overnight stays, which will replace the current curfews, will be monitored by electronic tags and there will be an additional level of flexibility with the suspects allowed to apply to spend a night away from their main residence.
Asked about the difference between curfews and overnight stays, a Whitehall official said the overnight stays could be much shorter and more flexible, allowing arrangements to be made for a suspect's shift patterns at work or other needs.
The new powers will "more clearly target and focus those limitations", while still enabling authorities to ban a suspect from visiting a particular building or street, Mrs May said.
But curfews and further restrictions on communications, association and movement could all be brought in as part of "exceptional emergency measures", the Home Office said.
In his review of counter-terrorism powers, Lord Macdonald QC said he would regard the use of curfews and tags as part of a replacement regime for control orders as "disproportionate, unnecessary and objectionable", adding they would "serve no useful purpose".