…while CPS could use Anti-Terrorism Act

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The Terrorism Act 2000 could be used by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) against extreme animal rights activists and organizations. The Terrorism Act made it illegal for certain terrorist groups to operate in the UK and extended prescription to include international terrorist groups. It is possible for an extreme animal rights organization to be added to the list of outlawed groups. A spokesperson from the Home Office said, “If the Security Service presents the Home Office with a body of evidence which suggests that an organization is a terrorist organization, the Home Office will definitely look into the matter.”The Home Office spokesperson said, “Terrorism, as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000, is the use of threat or action designed to influence the government, to intimidate the public or a section of it, in order to advance a political, religious, or ideological cause.”He added, “The interpretation of the Act lies entirely with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. They can decide whether to pursue the actions of animal rights activists under other legislations or Terrorism Act 2000.” The Terrorism Act also gave the police greater powers to help prevent and investigate terrorism, including wider stop and search powers and the power to detain suspects after arrest for up to seven days. Further, a list of new offences were introduced allowing police to arrest individuals suspected of inciting terrorist acts, seeking or providing training for terrorist purposes at home or overseas and providing instruction or training in the use of firearms, explosives or chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Much animal rights extremist activity is covered by criminal law. The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 could also be employed to charge extreme animal rights activists. The spokesperson from the Home Office said, “Legally speaking, the Terrorism Act 2000 is a perfectly feasible legislation to use against animal rights extremism. Whether to use it or not is a matter for the police and the CPS to decide.” A University spokesperson said, “The nature of any charges, if and when any individuals are apprehended, is a matter for the Crown Prosecution Service. The University has no doubt that the CPS will have in mind all possibilities and that any charges preferred will reflect the gravity of the offences concerned.” A spokesperson from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said, “We will select the appropriate charge from a whole raft of legislations that best reflects the evidence brought to us by the police.”ARCHIVE: 1st week MT 2005

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