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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 January 2005, 16:02 GMT
Restrictions that UK suspects may face
The home secretary has announced plans to replace detention of terrorism suspects without trial with new "control orders", offering a range of powers including house arrest.

Charles Clarke rejected the term "anti-terrorism Asbo" to describe the proposals, but how do they compare with other methods - outside of imprisonment - for monitoring or restricting certain people's activities?


Mr Clarke has proposed the introduction of "control orders" to curb the activities of suspected terrorists who cannot be prosecuted.

These would replace powers, under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime & Security Act 2001 (ATCSA), allowing the imprisonment of foreign terror suspects without trial.

Law lords have ruled such detention is a breach of human rights.

Charles Clarke
Britons are playing a greater role in terror threats, Mr Clarke says
Under the new orders, people suspected of terrorism could be subject to house arrest or other restrictions on movement, such as electronic tagging or curfews.

Association and communication with specified people could be restricted, as could telephone and internet use.

While the orders would mean an end to detention of suspects, breach of a control order could lead to imprisonment.

The new orders could also be applied to British citizens - the law lords ruled the ATCSA powers that could only be used on foreign suspects were discriminatory.

It is proposed that the orders would be imposed by the home secretary, rather than the courts.


Anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) were introduced in 1999, aimed at tackling individuals and families making life difficult for other people in communities through theft, intimidation, drunkenness, violence and other anti-social behaviour.

Asbos can restrict a person from doing anything specified, most often going to a certain place or behaving in a certain way.

Magistrates' courts issue them following an application by a case officer, usually a local council employee.

They are civil orders, but breaching an Asbo is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison.

Asbos last for at least two years but can be indefinite.

They are commonly used to ban people from entering specific areas, being in large groups on the street, being out at night, and associating with named individuals.

More unusual applications have included bans on headgear (to allow CCTV identification), and preventing ownership of a stereo or television (to stop loud playing of music).


People considered the "highest risk" violent and sex offenders in England and Wales are supervised after release from prison by multi-agency public protection panels.

Police, prisons and probation, plus other agencies such as housing, health and social services, share information on the offenders in a bid to stop them committing more crimes.

Sarah Payne
Public protection panels were called for after the murder of Sarah Payne
The panels may impose rules such as places the offender is not allowed to visit, such as schools or playgrounds.

They may also insist offenders have regular meetings with a dedicated officer, or set up a specific programme to be adhered to.

The panels were introduced in April 2001. Members of the public were added to the panels from last year.

People convicted of a range of sex crimes must also register with police following their release from prison.

There were more than 24,500 people on the sex offenders' register in 2004.


Some prisoners can be released early from jail and electronically tagged for the rest of their sentence under the home detention curfew scheme.

Most offenders sentenced to at least three months but less than four years can be freed up to four and a half months early, following an assessment of the risk of them reoffending and whether they would comply with a curfew.

The prisoner is under curfew in their home for no less than nine hours a day, usually overnight.

A breach of curfew sees the person returned to jail.

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