New powers to tackle hostile border activity

As part of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, the government has introduced new legislation to give police new powers to investigate hostile state activity at the border.

Following the recent chemical attack in Salisbury, the police or dedicated immigration or customs officers will be given more authority to stop, question, search and detain an individual at a port, airport or border area to determine whether he or she is, or has been, engaged in hostile activity.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We judge that it was highly likely that the Russian state carried out the appalling attack in Salisbury which demonstrates why the police need robust powers to investigate, identify and challenge those acting against our interests. This is a necessary and proportionate response to the threat and will, of course, be subject to strict safeguards and robust oversight to assure its proper use.”

Other laws announced in the strengthened Counter-Terrorism Strategy include amending certain terrorism offences to update them for the digital age, to reflect contemporary patterns of radicalisation and to close gaps in their scope, as well as strengthening the sentencing framework for terrorism-related offences and the power for managing terrorist offenders following their release from custody.

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