Schedule 7 is a power given to the police that allows them to stop individuals traveling in and out of the UK in order to establish if a person is or has been “concerned with the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”
Where can I be stopped?
- At ports of entry and exits into and out of the country, for example: airports, seaports and international train terminals.
- You can also be stopped at Eurostar or Eurotunnel terminals and stations in France.
The power can be exercised by:
- A police officer
- A customs officer
- An immigration officer
- You can be stopped at any time and any place where an officer believes you intend to travel abroad or on your return from travelling abroad.
- This includes before security, after security and even when you have boarded the mode of transport which you are using.
- You can be searched, detained and questioned for up to six hours.
- If you are stopped for over an hour, police must hand you a Notice of Detention form
- Your pictures can be taken
- Your DNA and fingerprints can only be taken with your consent. However, failure to give your consent could result in your arrest.
- Your belongings can be seized and held for up to 7 days, including your electronics and passport.
- You may be asked to provide passwords for your devices.
- You should remain calm and courteous.
- Request to contact your solicitor.
- You should be allowed to speak to your solicitor unless the officer thinks it will unduly delay the examination
- After 1 hour, you have the right to speak to a solicitor
- You should record what has happened to you with a pen and paper including who you spoke to, which department they’re from, what you were asked and what your answers were.
- You do not have the right to remain silent. You must answer questions related to the sole purpose of the power, which is to ascertain if you are concerned in terrorism.
- You may be arrested and potentially prosecuted if you fail to answer questions.
- You don’t need to answer questions on issues you are unaware of; if you are unsure about something you can say so
- The police can ask you for this information, but per their guidelines, this data exists in the cloud and not on your device and therefore they do not have an immediate right to access it.
No. You have done nothing wrong. You are not suspected of a crime and you are not under arrest.
- The authorities are not obligated to reimburse you for costs.
- They may try to put you on the next available flight, boat or train.
- You should alert the police that you have confidential material, which they must acknowledge and cease accessing your devices.
- They may still continue to hold your devices.
- We recommend that you change the passwords to your electronic devices as soon as possible after they are returned to you, in order to protect your privacy.
- You should first clarify who you are speaking to and ask them what legal powers they are questioning you under
- You have no obligation to speak to MI5 officers. It is an abuse of the Schedule 7 power for them to use that as an opportunity to question you.
- You should not speak to MI5 officers without lawyers present
- Allow plenty of time before you have to board your flight/train
- Write down the number of a solicitor in case you get stopped
- If you hold confidential material on your devices, save backups on your computer and wipe your phone before travelling