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Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said: "Liberty welcomes the end of the infamous section 44 stop and search power that criminalised and alienated more people than it ever protected. We have argued against it for 10 years and spent the last seven years challenging it in courts all the way to the court of human rights.
"It is a blanket and secretive power that has been used against school kids, journalists, peace protesters and a disproportionate number of young black men. To our knowledge, it has never helped catch a single terrorist. This is a very important day for personal privacy, rights to protest and race equality in Britain."