Terrorism, U.K., arrests, convictions | Homeland Security Newswire

TerrorismU.K.: Number of terrorism-related arrests hits record high

Published 14 June 2018

Official figures show that the number of terrorism-related arrests in Britain reached a record high after a series of attacks were conducted around the country last year. In the year ending 31 March, 441 people were held on suspicion of terrorism-related activity, the highest number of arrests in one year since data collection started in 2001, and an increase of 17 percent on 378 in the previous year.

Official figures show that the number of terrorism-related arrests in Britain reached a record high after a series of attacks were conducted around the country last year.

Times reports that in the year ending 31 March, 441 people were held on suspicion of terrorism-related activity, the highest number of arrests in one year since data collection started in 2001, and an increase of 17 percent on 378 in the previous year.

The Home Office said the rise was partly the result of the arrests made in the wake of attacks in London and Manchester last year. The number of terror-related arrests in Britain since the 9/11 attacks in 2001 has passed the 4,000 mark, reaching 4,182 at the end of March.

Assistant commissioner Neil Basu, who heads counter terrorism policing in the United Kingdom, said: “With the terrorist attacks of 2017 we saw a genuine step-change in momentum. As a result, our operational activity increased to meet the new and emerging threats we now face.

“A year on and our activity continues to be at unprecedented levels; shown, not least, by the fact that, in the past year, working together with the security services we have stopped an average of one terrorist attack every month. Police, together with the security services, are determined to make the U.K. as hostile an environment for terrorists as possible.”

Times notes that since the Westminster attack in March 2017, the police and the intelligence services foiled 12 terrorist plots, with a further four extreme right-wing attacks also stopped in this period.

The number of prisoners jailed for terrorism-related offenses is also at record high, increasing by nearly a third in one year.

The Home Office data shows that there were 228 persons in custody in Britain as at 31 March, a 27 percent increase from 180 in the previous year. This is the highest number since data collection began in April 2009.

The data also show that in 2017, 48 prisoners who had been held for terrorism-related offenses were released.

Security Minister Ben Wallace said one concern for his department is the fact that there has been a surge in the number of convicted terrorists released from prison, and that the security services must think creatively about how to manage them.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid last week unveiled an updated counter-terrorism strategy, which included revised provisions for managing terrorist offenders in the community.