COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Liberty rejects plan to extend detention time for 'terrorists'

Civil rights group Liberty has hit out at government plans to extend the length of time police can detain suspected terrorists without charge.

Home Secretary David Blunkett last week tabled an amendment to the Government's controversial criminal justice bill which, if accepted, would allow police to detain suspects for 14 days with permission from the courts. Currently suspected terrorists can be held for seven days.

Mark Littlewood, campaigns director at Liberty, said the proposal was "ill-considered, unnecessary and politically motivated".

"There seems to be no end to this Government's tendency to rush through ever more Draconian powers in order to appear 'tough on terror'," he said.

But a spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers welcomed the proposal, saying the international dimension to terrorism often meant more time was needed with suspects to carry out a detailed investigation.

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