CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

HOME OFFICE – PUBLIC DISPLAY OF PROSCRIBED ORGANISATIONS' SYMBOLS [73683] - 13 July 2020

HOME OFFICE – PUBLIC DISPLAY OF PROSCRIBED ORGANISATIONS' SYMBOLS [73683] - 13 July 2020

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what restrictions are in place on the public display of (a) flags and (b) other symbols of terrorist organisations proscribed in the UK; what steps she is taking to (i) collate data on and (ii) report to Parliament on the numbers of people (A) arrested and (B) prosecuted for the public display of those items; what recent assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of proscribing terrorist organisations in the UK; and if she will make a statement.  [73683]

[Due for Answer on 20 July.] 

ANSWER 

The Minister for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service (Kit Malthouse): The Government takes proscription offences seriously. It is an offence under section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to carry or display articles supporting a proscribed organisation, or to publish an image of an item of clothing or other article, such as a flag or logo, in the same circumstances.

Data relating to these section 13 offences are grouped with other proscription offences (sections 11 and 12 of the Act) in the publication ‘Operation of Police Powers under the Terrorism Act 2000’. The most recent publication, up to year ending March 2020, was published on 11 June on GOV.UK:

  • https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/operation-of-police-powers-under-the-terrorism-act-2000-financial-year-ending-march-2020.

Proscription sends a strong message that terrorist organisations are not tolerated in the UK and deters them from operating here. It is one of the key tools available to the Government, police and Security Service to disrupt terrorist activity. Between 2001 and the end of March 2020, 83 people have been charged with proscription-related offences as a primary offence in Great Britain, and 45 have been convicted.

Proscription can also support other disruptive activity including the use of immigration powers such as exclusion, prosecution for other offences, encouraging removal of on-line material, and messaging and EU asset freezes.