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Number of terrorism-related arrests in UK reaches record level

The Guardian logo The Guardian 14/06/2018 Jamie Grierson Home affairs correspondent
Police at the scene of a terrorism-related raid in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, in April. © PA Police at the scene of a terrorism-related raid in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, in April.

The number of terrorism-related arrests in Britain hit a record high after a series of attacks were launched around the country last year, official figures show.

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

The Home Office said the rise was partly due to a number of arrests made following 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, standing at 4,182 at the end of March.

The number of prisoners jailed for terrorism-related offences is also at the highest level since records began after an increase of nearly a third in one year.

There were 228 persons in custody in Britain as at 31 March, a 27% increase from 180 in the previous year, the Home Office data shows, the highest number in custody for terrorism-related offences since data collection began in April 2009.

The figures also show 48 prisoners held for terrorism-related offences were released from custody in Britain in 2017.

Guardian analysis has revealed police and security services face a surge in the number of convicted terrorists released from prison, prompting warnings over how to manage them. The security minister, Ben Wallace, said the findings were a concern.

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

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