29 June 2021 - Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021, Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Act 2021

29 June 2021

Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021

Further amendments are made by the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021 as follows.

The maximum penalties for some terrorism offences have been increased from ten to 14 years' imprisonment (relating to proscribed organisations, see sections 11 and 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000, and attendance at a place used for terrorist training, see section 8 of the Terrorism Act 2006). The referral to the Parole Board after two thirds of a custodial sentence does not apply to certain terrorist offenders, who will instead be released at the end of their custodial term (see section 247A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003). A polygraph condition may be included in the licence of an offender convicted of a relevant terrorist offence (see section 28 of the Offender Management Act 2007).

TPIMs (Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures) can now be in force for up to five years (see section 5 of the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011) and the standard of proof for a TPIM to be issued has been lowered from 'on the balance of probabilities' to 'reasonable belief' that the individual is, or has been, involved in terrorism-related activity (see section 3). The 'overnight residency measures' have been changed to 'residency measures' which require a TPIM subject to remain at or within a specified residence during specified hours. This period could now be longer than overnight, subject to overriding restrictions on length of curfews established by case law relating to article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. By way of a variation notice under section 12(1A) and (1B), the individual can be required to reside at a different specified residence ('relocation measure'). New polygraph and drug testing measures are also being introduced. For all measures see Schedule 1.

Chief officers of police can now apply for serious crime prevention orders in terrorism-related cases, see sections 8 and 8A of the Serious Crime Act 2007.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021

Sections 69, 72 and 74(1) of, and Part 1 of Schedule 3 to, the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 are in force:

Section 69 amends the offence under section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, of disclosing a private sexual photograph or film with intent to cause distress to an individual who appears in the photograph or film, so as to include 'threats to disclose private sexual photographs or film'.

Section 72 extends the circumstances in which certain sexual and violent offences committed abroad may be prosecuted in England and Wales, where the offence is committed by a UK national or a person habitually resident in England and Wales.

Part 1 of Schedule 3 makes amendments as follows:

section 4B is inserted into the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, which makes it an offence in England and Wales for a person who is a UK national (as defined in new 4B(2)) or is habitually resident in England and Wales to pursue, wholly or partly in a country outside the UK, a course of conduct that would amount to an offence under section 4 or 4A of the 1997 Act if it occurred in England and Wales.

section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 is amended, to make it an offence in England and Wales for a UK national or resident to commit certain other acts in a country outside the UK. The act done must amount to an offence under any of sections 1 to 4 of the Sexual Offences Act 2002 (namely, rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent) where the victim of the offence was aged 18 or over at the time of the offence and, for a UK resident, the act must also amount to an offence in the country where it was committed.

section 76A is inserted into the Serious Crime Act 2015 which makes it an offence for a person (A) repeatedly or continuously to engage in behaviour towards another person (B) that is controlling or coercive. This offence applies where, at the time of the behaviour, A and B are personally connected, the behaviour has a serious effect on B and A knows or ought to know that the behaviour will have a serious effect on B.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (Processing of Victims' Data for Immigration Purposes) (Extension of Relevant Period) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/736) also extends the period under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, within which the Secretary of State must review and report to Parliament on the processing of domestic abuse data carried out by specified public authorities for immigration purposes, to the 29th December 2021.

The Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Act 2021

Section 14 of, and Schedule 9 to, the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Act 2021 are in force, which makes provision for the following police powers that relate to requirements in the Air Navigation Order 2016:

The power to require a remote pilot to provide evidence of competency - see paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 9.

The power to require a remote pilot to provide information as to the identity of the person or persons who are or were the UAS operator for the flight, or the person or persons who made the UA available to the remote pilot – see paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 9.

The power to require a UAS operator to provide evidence of registration – see paragraph 3(2) of Schedule 9.

The power to require a UAS operator to provide information as to the identity of the person or persons who are or were the remote pilot or remote pilots of the flight – see paragraph 4(2) of Schedule 9.

The power to require a person to provide information, documentation or evidence that is of a 'specified description' – see paragraph 5(2) of Schedule 9.

The power to require a person to provide evidence of a 'relevant consent' for a flight to take place – see paragraph 6(2) of Schedule 9.

The power to require evidence of an 'ANO exemption' for a flight to take place – see paragraph 7(2) of Schedule 9.

The power to inspect the UA if they consider it would assist to determine whether a power conferred by paragraphs 1 to 7 of Schedule 9 is exercisable – see paragraph 8(1) of Schedule 9.

Paragraph 9 also makes it an offence to provide false or misleading information under Schedule 9.

The Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Act 2021 (Commencement No 1) Regulations 2021 brings further sections of the Act into force on the 29th June 2021. Sections of note are as follows:

section 13 (Powers of police officers and prison authorities);

section 15 (Fixed penalties for certain offences relating to unmanned aircraft); Note, these are to be implemented by future SIs.

part 1 of Schedule 8 (Unmanned aircraft: general powers of police officers);

part 2 of Schedule 8 (Unmanned aircraft: powers of police officers and prison authorities) -

paragraph 11 amends section 93 of the Police Act 1997 to include a new criterion under which authorisation can be given by a public authority listed in that section to interfere with property and wireless telegraphy (such interference being the consequence of the use of certain counter-unmanned aircraft technologies). The effect is that such authorisations may be given where the person giving the authorisation believes that it is necessary for the action specified to be taken for preventing or detecting the use of an unmanned aircraft in the commission of a relevant offence, and that the taking of the action is proportionate to what the action seeks to achieve.

paragraph 12 amends section 94 of the Police Act 1997 to include authorisations in absence of authorising officer, in urgent cases, in respect of a prison authorisation.

Schedule 10 (Fixed penalties for certain offences relating to unmanned aircraft).

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