After ten years of campaigning, Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 has been abandoned by the government – with immediate effect.
The act allowed police officers to stop and search members of the public without reasonable suspicion for terrorism – primarily against protesters and disproportionately on young black and Asian men.
The European court ruled Section 44 illegal, and the government did not appeal the ruling.
But we should not rest on our laurels just yet. While this law has been changed, Home Secretary Theresa May has also made it clear that she wants to remove “red tape” for policing, and allow police to do their job with “less paperwork”.
This should be a warning. Less paperwork means less accountability. It means more young people, usually from ethnic minorities, being harassed in the street without officers being held accountable.
In rejecting one draconian law, we need to make sure it is not simply replaced with another.
For more information, check out the Guardian’s report.