Massive public support for tough terror controls – poll

By DAVID WOODING

TERRORIST suspects should be put under strict new control orders to curb their movements, Theresa May has been warned.

Most people think the system of monitoring extremists is useless and want Britain’s homeland security beefed up urgently.

Six out of ten are demanding the return of control orders, scrapped in 2011 because they infringed the liberty of suspects.

And they want British Muslims who leave to fight with jihadists in Syria or Iraq placed under house arrest when they return to the UK.

The PM is urged to take a much harder line on home-grown radicals in an exclusive ICM poll for The Sun on Sunday.

Brits gave Mrs May a powerful message of support for almost any action to protect keep the country safe – even if it hits their own civil liberties.

The majority of people believe human rights laws are too heavily tilted in favour of terrorists and criminals and not the public they are meant to protect.

Seven out of ten believe security services should be given more power to spy on people – by checking phone, internet and email data.

An overwhelming 72 per cent believe snooping is justified, even if it erodes civil liberties. They outnumber those opposed to it by a massive eight to one.

Two-thirds of people are in favour of companies being compelled to give up encrypted mobile phone data to spy chiefs. They believe this would disrupt terrorists using phone apps to plot their atrocities without being detected.

Tory MP Tim Loughton, who sits on the Commons home affairs committee, said last night: “This poll shows just how much the whole argument around terrorism and civil liberties has moved on.

“People are now overwhelmingly more concerned about keeping our country safe in the wake of recent atrocities on the continent.

“If that means giving up some of our civil liberties, it’s a price that many people feel is worth paying.”

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Support for more draconian action against extremists has grown in the wake of recent atrocities in Nice and Paris.

And our poll suggest they Mrs May would boost her no-nonsense image if she were to bring back control orders.

The tool was used to put suspects under house arrest, restrict where they travel, who they meet and stop them using the internet or smart phones.

But they were ditched by the coalition government after protests from Lib Dem deputy leader Nick Clegg that they breached human rights.

They were replaced by weaker Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures, known as T-Pims.

But only one terrorist in Britain is subject to the order – and he is using taxpayers’ money to fight a legal battle to have it lifted.

This is despite there being at least 2,000 fanatics at large in Britain, The Sun on Sunday revealed last week.

More than half of people – 58 per cent – think that terror suspects restricted by any court order should be banned from claiming legal aid to fight it, our poll reveals.

Some 41 per cent believe human rights laws give most protection to criminals and those engaged in the planning of terrorist acts. This compares with only 33 per cent who think they safeguard the public and victims of crime and terrorism.

The T-Pim order – the toughest tool at the disposal of security services – is seen as ineffective by most people.

And 63 per cent would support the return of the more restrictive control order – ten times the number who would oppose it.

Even among young people – more guarded about civil liberties – there is overwhelming support for it.

Fifty per cent of people aged 18 to 24 support control orders, compared with 13 per cent in the same age bracket who oppose them.

A similar number, 62 per cent, say all British subjects who chose to fight in support of IS in war zones such as Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan should automatically be subject to orders on their return.

Mr Loughton said the poll highlights a changing mood in the general public in response to the heightened terrorist threat.

The MP added: “We are only too aware of the enemy beyond the Channel but we now need to define the way we deal with the enemy within.

“That must mean better surveillance and anybody who has been to war zones such as Syria should be more strictly monitored. This is a wake-up call.

“Despite the fantastic work our intelligence and security services do to keep us safe, the law needs to be toughened to make sure the terrorist menace does not get across the Channel to wreak havoc with the every-day freedoms we often take for granted.”

Seven in ten would support restrictions on their OWN freedom of movement around the EU if it made it harder for terrorists to operate freely.

One in four believes Britain will be safer once we have left the EU – but nearly half think it will make no difference.

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PM lacks full public confidence in tackling terror

By DAVID WOODING
BRITAIN today delivers a damning verdict on David Cameron’s handling of the terrorist threat.
Six in ten people have no confidence in the PM’s response to the crisis and fear he will have little real impact.
Most doubt he has the authority within his party – or the coalition – to take the decisive action needed.
And more than half say he was wrong to jet off on holiday three days after soldier Lee Rigby was murdered.
Serious doubts over Mr Cameron’s reaction to the Woolwich attack are revealed in an exclusive Survation poll published in The Sun today.
Alarmingly, even Tory voters are split over whether his action plan will make the country any safer.
They want him to take a much tougher line, locking up fanatics who provoke violence and sending terrorist suspects back where they came from.
Mr Cameron has vowed to muzzle hate-preachers and stop them spreading their poison in schools, colleges and prisons.
He will head a new task force of MI5 chiefs, cops and religious leaders to tackle extremism and radicalisation.
But a massive 60 per cent of people don’t believe his plan will have a real impact on the problem.
And even more – 63 per cent – do not have full confidence in the PM’s overall handling of the terrorist threat.
But 54 per cent DO have confidence in MI5’s ability to protect them from terrorist attack.
Deserting
Survation chief executive Damian Lyons Lowe said: “At a time when the public are looking for leadership, David Cameron appears a little too chillaxed.
“It is difficult for him to be seen as acting decisively when it doesn’t look as though he has control of his own party, let alone the Coalition.”
Mr Cameron’s decision to fly to Ibiza with his family has clearly dented confidence in his, the poll suggests.
Some 56 per cent said he should have put off the sunshine jaunt and stayed in London to deal with the crisis personally.
Only 36 per cent think he was right to take a family holiday.
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Tory supporters are deserting Mr Cameron in droves and flocking to UKIP.
A quarter of those who voted Conservative in 2010 now plan to vote for Nigel Farage’s anti-EU party.
Support for UKIP among the over-54s – those most likely to turn out at an election – is a whopping 25 per cent.
Tories now lag nine points behind Labour as the party people are most likely to vote for.
The poll puts them on 25 per cent, with Labour at 36, UKIP on 20 and the Lib Dems in fourth place on ten.
Seven out of ten people think the UK government should deport foreign criminals while their appeal are ongoing.
And 56 per cent say Britain places too much emphasis on protecting freedom of speech and not enough tackling incitement.
Nearly four in ten – 38 per cent – believe attempts to kick out hate preacher Abu Qatada will fail and he will stay here indefinitely.
Only 24 per cent think he will be forcibly extradited to Jordan by the government.
Despite huge condemnation from the Muslims over Drummer Rigby’s murder, most people believe they are not outspoken enough.
Six in ten think Islamic communities have been too complacent and need to do more about the threat of hate preachers and extremism.
This compares with 26 per cent who believe they have been trying hard and doing all they can to combat the peril.
NUMBER CRUNCHING
Poll highlights:
State of the parties: Con 25 (+1), Lab 36 (+1), UKIP 20 (-2), Lib Dem 10 (no change)
What is your assessment of level of terrorist threat?
Very/serious 55, Moderate threat 39, None 6.
Confidence in Cameron’s proposals to have a real impact.
Yes 25, No 60, Don’t know 14.
David Cameron lacks  authority in his party to take decisive action.
Yes 56, No 34, Don’t know 11.
David Cameron’s holiday in Ibiza.
Should have postponed 55, Right to go 36, Don’t know 9.
Confidence in Cameron’s handling of terror threat.
No 63, Yes, 27, Don’t know 10.
Muslim communities need to do more about threat of hate preachers 60 per cent. Doing all they can 26, Don’t know 14.
Abu Qatada will be forcibly extradited 24
He will return to Jordan voluntarily 20
He will remain in UK indefinitely 38.
Don’t know 17.
Survation conducted its survey by online panel on May 30, 2013. It polled 1,007 adults aged 18+ in England, Scotland and Wales.

Playing Qat and mouse

By DAVID WOODING
HATE preacher Abu Qatada must be the only man in Britain who isn’t feeling the pinch.
While our schools, police, and brave armed forces face swingeing cuts, spending on the terror suspect just seems to go up and up.
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It’s bad enough that he is using human rights laws to stay in a country he despises.
But hard-working families struggling to make ends meet will be sickened to learn that last month this unwanted guest was costing them £5,058 A DAY.
The bill for legal aid, security, housing and benefits is expected to top £6 million this year alone.
That’s enough to pay for an extra 283 nurses, 347 rookie soldiers or 263 teachers.
Qatada (pictured above),  a Bin Laden stooge and inspiration for the 9/11 hijackers, is using every trick in the legal handbook to dodge deportation.
To make matters worse, soft-touch European judges seem determined to let him.
Barmy
Home Secretary Theresa May must be tearing her hair out in despair at how to get rid of him.
Even that is costing us, as government lawyers run up a £600,000 bill in their hopeless quest to find common sense in the barmy human rights laws that allow him to stay.
He’s been playing Qat and mouse with the the authorities for 12 years.
Let’s hope 2013 is the year we finally get rid of him.
Then we can end this costly madness once and for all.