Re: effectiveness of Stop & Search under section 44.
It is poor for the MPS. From gizmonaut.net/bits/propaganda.html (written some time ago) for instance:
In the financial year 2003/4, the Metropolitan Police conducted 5,245 ‘Stop and searches’ of pedestrians under section 44(2) of the Terrorism Act 2000. Only two of these were arrested in connection with terrorism, and a further 57 for other reasons.
In 2004/5, the Metropolitan Police conducted 4,206 ‘Stop and searches’ of pedestrians under section 44(2) of the Terrorism Act 2000. There were 66 resultant arrests: 15 in connection with terrorism, and a further 51 for other reasons.
The official 2005/6 statistics were eventually published: the number of pedestrians stopped and searched under section 44(2) by the Metropolitan Police jumped 2.7 times to 11,407. Still, less than half a percent were arrested in connection with terrorism.
(See the original piece for links to sources)
When I asked a question to the Metropolitan Police Authority about this, it was made clear that the MPA approves of this tactic and that unfortunately the Stop & Search Scrutiny Board scrutinised only the PACE stop and searches and not the S44 ones (I'm not aware of any change since).
On one hand it is claimed that these stop and searches are done to disrupt, but on the other the Home Office is surprisingly reluctant to divulge where the S44 powers apply. Spyblog has an FOIA request still pending.
It is clear that in your case, the police didn’t find you much of a risk as they made no attempt to isolate you from all the traffic in Waterloo station. Also the officers you filmed have badges marked Counter Terrorism Proactive Unit (CTPU) which is a British Transport Unit – so they may have a different track record to the MPS officers. According to its 2007 annual report “BTP carried out some 30,000 stops under Section 44 last year, almost as many as every other police force combined.”