The UK should increase its anti-terror measures, suggests new polling

Theresa May

The YouGov/Sunday Times poll indicates that a majority of people are in favour of new anti-terror measures, including raising the 14 day period to 18 days.

With the recent attack in Tunisia, terrorism is firmly on the agenda. New YouGov polling done after the attack suggests strong support for increased anti-terror measures.

Firstly, under current rules terrorist suspects can be held and questioned for a period of up to 14 days without even being charged. One of the questions asked by YouGov asked respondents if they would be in favour of increasing this period to 28 days, doubling the amount of time a terror suspect can be held without being charged. In response to this 68% said they would favour this, whereas 22% said they would oppose it. 10% were on the fence.

Secondly, when respondents were asked if “security services should or should not have wider powers to collect and monitor ordinary people's communications (such as phone calls, emails and text messages) in order to detect potential terrorist threats?” a majority of people said they should. 61% said they should against the 25% who said they should not. Across voters from all political parties there was a majority in favour of such measures, including Lib Dem voters who one might think would be against such “snooping”.

A third question showed that people would be in favour of more surveillance but with some key regulations. Respondents were asked:

“If the security services wish to place someone's communications under surveillance do you think they should or should not require the permission of a judge?”

55% said they should require a judge, whereas 34% said they should not.

Overall, it suggests that a clear majority of Brits are in favour of increasing anti-terror measures, including further surveillance. However, the third question indicates that there should be some restrictions on accessing an individual’s communications. YouGov have not included any results from the same questions being asked before the recent terrorist attack, but with 75% of respondents saying they are personally worried that ISIS/Daesh/ISIL/IS may attempt a terrorist attack here in the UK (against the 19% who are not worried) it is arguable that Tunisia may have had an impact.

View the full results of YouGov's poll here.

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