UK Police To Gain New Powers to Question Individuals Suspected of Espionage
16:01 GMT 08.06.2020(updated 16:30 GMT 08.06.2020)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Law enforcement officers at the United Kingdom's ports will be given greater powers to detain and question individuals suspected of espionage, according to a government statement on Monday.
"Schedule 7 is already a vital tool for police to protect the UK from terrorist threats, and I am pleased that subject to Parliament's approval police will be able to use Schedule 3 to protect us from hostile state actors", Security Minister James Brokenshire said in the government statement.
The measures were first proposed as part of the government's Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act, which was introduced in 2019. The so-called Schedule 3 measures, which will give the police the ability to question individuals suspected of espionage, require parliamentary approval before entering into force.
The government has also updated the so-called Schedule 7 powers, which allow law enforcement officers at UK ports to detain individuals suspected of terrorist activity.
According to the UK government, the new measures are in response to the death of Dawn Sturgess, who died after being poisoned by a nerve agent in the town of Salisbury in 2018. Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were also exposed to the harmful substance.
London has accused Moscow of being responsible for the incident. Russia has continually refuted all allegations of involvement in the poisoning and has stated that UK officials have yet to offer credible evidence.
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