On 12th February, the Home Office announced that this New Act had received Royal Assent. The Home Office says the Act ensures sentencing for certain terrorism offences can properly reflect the severity of the crimes, as well as preventing re-offending and disrupting terrorist activity more rapidly; and in addition, the Act updates existing counter-terrorism legislation to reflect the digital age including the way in which people view content online. Its provisions include –
- a new power to stop, question, search and detain an individual at a port or border area to determine whether they are, or have been, involved in hostile state activity;
- creating an offence of entering or remaining in an area outside the UK that has been designated by the Home Secretary if it is necessary for protecting the public from terrorism;
- updating the offence of obtaining information likely to be useful to a terrorist to cover material that is only viewed or streamed, rather than downloaded to form a permanent record;
- an increase to the maximum penalty for certain preparatory terrorism offences to 15 years’ imprisonment;
- extending the offence of inviting support for a proscribed organisation; and
- a requirement for terrorist offenders to provide additional information to the police in line with what registered sex offenders must provide.
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