HL Deb 04 April 1979 vol 399 c1973WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How it happened that of those arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976, 203 were charged with "other offences" as compared with 58 charged with offences under the Act; and whether the figures indicate that arrest and detention under the Act is being used for purposes and in circumstances wider than those originally intended by Parliament, and if so why.


A person may be arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1976 if he is reasonably suspected of:

  1. (a) having committed an offence under the Act: or
  2. (b) involvement in acts of terrorism; or
  3. (c) being subject to an exclusion order.
If it becomes obvious to the police during questioning that the person has been involved in the commission of another criminal offence, they are bound to consider charging that person. Likewise if during a person's detention it is brought to police notice that there is a warrant outstanding against that person they cannot ignore it. No misuse of the Act is involved in these cases.