The Problem with… Schedule 7 Terrorism

Schedule 7 TerrorismAs a former Special Branch Counter Terrorism Intelligence Detective who acted as an examining officer at Heathrow Airport within Scotland Yard, I more than most know of the positives and negatives of this unique and powerful UK legislation under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Part of my court challenge against the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service at my first Employment Tribunal was my concerns that this schedule although can prevent terrorism within the United Kingdom and abroad, was also being abused.

My point was that, it undermined the fight against atrocities.

Although I was able to show that discrimination existed within SO15 Counter Terrorism Command, I struggled to show primary facts with this schedule under employment law. Why?

Like when I was asked recently by Victoria Derbyshire on her BBC Radio 5 Live show … ‘if I still stuck by my Schedule 7 allegations’, well of course I do.

The law is about what you can prove on the day(s) in question at court, which doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t take place. I used to be a Criminal Investigation Detective at the Greater Manchester Police who dealt with rapes, and know the conviction rate in Britain is low. It doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

In defending my allegation, the Commissioner wheeled-out 32 witnesses including Assistant Commissioner (Chief Constable) ranks to say the opposite of what I was saying as the lone detective with regards to the abuse of this schedule and other discriminatory acts.

Why so many against one, if all was well?

My telling Ms Derbyshire that I now didn’t stand by what I had said and saw with regards to Schedule 7 would undermine my credibility, and not be true. I know what I saw.

The powers were being abused. They are easy to abuse.

I do however respect the employment court.

As I told someone yesterday via twitter, an Independent Examiner such as David Anderson QC can only scrutinise what is placed before him or her by the relevant body.

They cannot assess what they haven’t been told, or shown.

The Official Secrets Act is used as a weapon, to intimidate and silence people like myself.

David Miranda & Glenn Greenwald

David Miranda & Glenn Greenwald

The story of late about David Miranda the partner of The Guardian newspaper journalist Glenn Greenwald, naturally caught my attention. Unlike most, I know how my former colleagues work and how they would have dealt with him.

I know what they and the security services are capable of, which I guess has helped me fight them in the courts. Equally though, I understand my official secrets obligation although wrongdoing and discrimination are not some of these.

My forthcoming memoir Broken, details the lengths counter terrorism went to catch me out as an ‘Enemy of the State‘ and I was one of them. Mr Miranda had no chance, if it transpires his stopping was nothing to do with terrorism.

Whatever some may think of me, I never signed up to accept wrongdoing within law enforcement and don’t think most Britons would expect me to. I had served my country well, and loyally.

At my second employment appeal hearing this year, Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner said I was a threat to ‘National Security‘. Basically, a threat because I was telling the truth about what goes on inside SO15 Counter Terrorism Command.

Somewhere along the way, some of my former colleagues and leaders have forgotten the oath they swore to ‘uphold the law’ and the basic concept of honesty and integrity.

Big institutions bully people into silence whom challenge them, because they think they can.

Well, they can’t and people need to stand up for themselves and others.

This is clear in my case, like when Scotland Yard leaked my private data to News Corp’s The Sun newspaper to discredit me and stop my complaints.

Rightly, I placed my hope for accountability in the Judicial System, Parliament and Lawyers in My Fight for Justice whom to date have not failed me.

Like my evidence I submitted recently to the UK Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee, Mr Miranda and all those whom feel they have been unjustly targeted have to put their faith in the British people through this thing called ‘democracy’ which can bring about real change by saying… Enough is Enough.