The United Kingdom’s MI5 security service and local police will soon have the authority to remove terror suspects from their homes, according to U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May.
The latest move by the U.K. government will bring back the control orders policy, which was adopted in 2005 and amended in 2011. The policy was criticized for restricting people’s civil liberties in the fight against terrorism within the country, Sputnik reported, citing the Telegraph newspaper.
In 2011, the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs) replaced the control orders policy, which was used by police to control the movement of suspected terrorists. According to law enforcement officials, TPIMs limited their ability to tackle terrorism at home.
According to the Telegraph report, the control orders policy will help law enforcement officials relocate suspects to a town far from their home, allow judges to impose 16-hour curfews, and ban suspects from meeting certain people. In addition, authorities will be able to prohibit suspects from using mobile phones and the Internet.
The announcement by May comes after British Prime Minister David Cameron said last week that Britain will introduce tough anti-terrorism laws to address a rise in the entry of foreign fighters into the country, to prevent British nationals from joining militant groups abroad, and to counter the growing threat of returning British-origin militants.
Britain's security threat level reportedly rose to its second-highest level in August because of the risks posed by British-origin Islamic State group fighters returning home from Iraq and Syria, where thousands of foreign fighters are believed to be involved in the region's conflicts. The UK is part of a U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq.
According to Cameron, there are as many as 500 British citizens engaged in fighting for ISIS in Syria and northern Iraq, and their return would represent the single greatest threat to the country.