Arrests in UK for terror offences up 54%


LONDON: The number of people arrested for terrorism linked offences in Britain rose 54% to 400 in the 12 months to September in one of the most intense periods for terrorist attacks in recent British history.
The Home Office said the increase was due partly to the 64 arrests made following the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, bringing the total to the highest number of terror-related arrests since records began in 2001. The quarterly Home Office bulletin on the police use of their counter-terrorism powers shows that, so far, 115 of the 400 people arrested have been charged, 213 were released without charge and 60 released on bail pending further investigation. The remainder faced alternative action. In the 12 months to September, the terror-related trials of 78 people were completed – an increase of 16% on the previous year – of whom 69 were convicted and nine acquitted. The number of terrorist prisoners in British jails has also risen in the past year to 213, of whom 88% hold Islamist extremist views. A further 8% are categorised as holding “rightwing ideologies”.
The statistics also show that the Metropolitan police are making increasing use of their counter terror stop and search powers, with the number of stops up 27% to 726. However, the use of controversial schedule 7 powers to stop and examine passengers entering and leaving the country under terrorism powers fell a further 22% to 16,919 examinations, continuing a long-term downward trend.
The number of white people arrested on suspicion of terrorism has risen dramatically as the total hits a new annual high, statistics show. The Home Office said 400 suspects were detained and more than 850 searched under the Terrorist Act in the year to 30 September. Police arrested 12 people in connection with the Westminster attack, 23 in connection with the Manchester Arena bombing, 21 related to the London Bridge attack, one following Fins bury Park and seven linked to the Parsons Green bombing.
The perpetrators of the Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge attacks died while carrying out the atrocities and none ofthose arrested have been charged. The brother of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi could be prosecuted if he is returned to the UK from Libya but his extradition has been repeated lydelayed.
Around 15 percent of those detained were women and girls – the highest proportion on record – and the number of arrests across all age and ethnic groups increased. The largest rise was seen for suspects of “white ethnic appearance”, the Home Office said, with the number of arrests rising by 77 per cent since the previous year, making up 36 per cent of the total.