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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 15:34 GMT
Conference police keep stop forms
Mark Wallace in Brighton (Freedom Association campaign picture)
Mark Wallace has complained about police records being kept
An anti-ID card protester stopped near the Labour Party conference in Brighton last year has been told his details will be kept by police indefinitely.

Mark Wallace was outside the Brighton Centre in September when police stopped him under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The Freedom Association campaigner said: "Keeping details of the innocent forever is an utter disgrace."

But Sussex Police said records of stops were a Home Office requirement and did not mean he had "a police record".

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, Section 44 gives officers the power to stop-and-search at random provided the area they are policing has been identified by the Home Office as one that might be targeted by terrorists.

'Peaceful protest'

Brighton, in the week of the Labour Party Conference, was a designated area of risk and police were given Section 44 powers.

Mr Wallace, campaigns manager for the Freedom Association, was gathering signatures for a petition when he was stopped and filmed.

He said: "One minute I was peacefully collecting signatures, and the next I had five policemen around me, one with a video camera recording my every move.

"This act requires no suspicion, you just have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Armed police on duty in Brighton
Conference security included armed officers patrolling Brighton
Sussex Police said video footage was retained for seven years and paper records indefinitely.

A spokesman said people stopped were given a street intervention form "for the purposes of accountability" which set out the details of and reasons for the stop.

He said it did not mean the person had "a police record" or that the forms, which were not filed under names, were kept for life.

The bill introducing the ID cards plan, which The Freedom Association is opposing, is currently going through Parliament.

Ministers say ID cards are needed to fight identity fraud and illegal immigration.

See why police are keeping details about a protester

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