Schoolboy, 15, held as terror suspect after taking photos of railway

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2009-01-31 16:08:03

Attachments :…   Schoolboy, 15, held as terror suspect after taking photos of railway station for GCSE project A schoolboy was held as a terrorist suspect by police support officers – for taking photographs of a railway station on a geography field trip. Fabian Sabbara, 15, was dressed in his school uniform when he was stopped by three police community support officers for taking photos of a station on his mobile phone. He explained he was taking pictures, as well as pedestrian counts and a traffic survey, as part of a GCSE project. Fabian Sabbara, 15, was questioned by police support officers when they spotted him taking pictures of Wimbledon station, below But PCSO Barry Reeve told Fabian, from Cheam in South London, to sign forms under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, which allows police to stop and search at random anyone they suspect of terrorism. The pupil from Rutlish High School, Merton, was forced to comply or face arrest after he was stopped at nearby Wimbledon railway station. After the incident, his mother Clare and father Felix contacted police to remove any record of the incident against their son’s name – but were told it had to remain in place for six years. Scotland Yard have since wiped the record from their database, but Mr Sabbara, 48, an audio-visual installer, said the incident could have affected Fabian’s future employment chances. He said the matter had also sparked fear at Fabian’s school, where trips had been banned over concerns that pupils could be stopped by police for taking pictures. Mr Sabbara said: ‘Fabian was just a 15-year-old boy trying to do his school work. He had done nothing wrong. ‘The point is, if this incident had remained on file it could affect him in years to come when he applies for jobs such as the RAF. ‘Also if there was a terrorist attack at Wimbledon station he would be a suspect. It’s just ludicrous. ‘There needs to be more common sense when applying this law.’ During the incident Fabian, among 55 pupils who had split into groups, had to sign a form titled ‘Stop-and-Search Terrorism Act’. Metropolitan Police spokesman Beverley Kassem said officers did not search him and no further action was taken. She said: ‘Police have met with the boy, his family and representatives from the school to discuss the incident and reassure them of any concerns they may have. ‘As a result of this meeting, schools and police will work closely on future school trips in the area. ‘The record of the stop on the stop-and-search database has been removed.’ Merton Council cabinet member for children’s services Councillor Debbie Shears said: ‘We understand this incident has been resolved directly between the police, the school and the pupil’s family. ‘School trips are an integral part of a student’s life and we are working with both schools and police to see what sort of guidelines need to be developed and put in to place.’       Are you interested in what’s really going on in the world, behind the facade? Then…www.checktheevidence… happened on 9/11?    

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