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Anti-terror powers to help police.

Byline: BOB ROBERTS

SWEEPING new police powers to deal with September 11-style terrorist attacks were unveiled last night.

Under the Civil Contingencies Bill, armed officers - backed up by soldiers - will be able to bar the public from sensitive sites, requisition property, ban public meetings and set up courts to deal with dissenters.

The Government will also be able to suspend acts of parliament, including human rights laws, for 21 days.

Ministers have tightened the definition on the introduction of the emergency powers following objections from civil liberties campaigners, who fear they could be used to protect Government.

Cabinet Office minister Douglas Alexander said: "We've listened to a wide range of people on this."

But the Bill does not go far enough for the Tories who wanted Britain to follow America's lead and create a Cabinet minister for homeland security.

Spokesman Oliver Heald said: "I think this is necessary."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 8, 2004
Words:154
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