You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Record number of terror arrests follow attacks

Sky News logo Sky News 08/03/2018
Armed police at Manchester Arena after the terror attack in May © PA Armed police at Manchester Arena after the terror attack in May

There were a record 412 terror-related arrests last year - the first time the figure has been above 300. The figures from the Home Office for 2017 show an increase of 58% from the previous year.

It compares with 261 arrests for terrorism-related offences in 2016.

The Home Office says the increase is, in part, due to the large number of people held after three attacks in London and one in Manchester.

File photo dated 03/06/17 of police officers on Borough High Street, where a terrorist attack took place. © PA File photo dated 03/06/17 of police officers on Borough High Street, where a terrorist attack took place.

There were also multiple arrests following the attempted bombing at Parsons Green Tube station in September last year. Of the 412 arrests last year, 135 resulted in a charge, of which 110 were terrorism-related, while 228 were released without charge.

There were a record number of people of white people (145) and women (61) arrested. The year saw a 37% increase in the number of Asian people (170) arrested.

Some 27 people under the age of 18 were arrested, a record number. The vast majority of those held in 2017 were linked to either international or domestic terrorism.

Armed police officer © PA Armed police officer

There were 300 arrests in the international category, which covers suspected activity linked to or motivated by terrorist groups based outside the UK - such as Islamic State.

In the domestic category, which relates to cases where there is no connection to either Northern Ireland-related or international terrorism, there were 71 arrests.

This is thought to be attributable to an increasing focus on suspected right-wing activity.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott responds to a statement by the Home Secretary in the House of Commons, London, on recent terrorist attacks. © PA Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott responds to a statement by the Home Secretary in the House of Commons, London, on recent terrorist attacks.

The Government's security minister Ben Wallace said the figures are "testament to the breadth of work undertaken by the police, Security Service and wider judicial system in identifying and stopping terrorism in our communities and bringing those responsible to justice".

He added: "The police and Security Service have been clear about the scale of the threat we face. We will continue to work with them and other agencies to ensure we have a broad response to all forms of terrorism both now and in the future."

Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: "The sharp increase in the number of arrests reflects the rise in terrorist incidents that took place in 2017.

File photo dated 19/06/17 of a police officer laying some flowers passed over by a member of the public, close to Finsbury Park Mosque in north London © PA File photo dated 19/06/17 of a police officer laying some flowers passed over by a member of the public, close to Finsbury Park Mosque in north London

"But the threat has not gone away and the Tories' cuts to police numbers undermine police forces' ability to respond.

"Both the security services and counter-terrorism police are clear that community policing is in the frontline in the fight against terrorism, yet community policing has borne the brunt of Government police cuts."

Last month, Britain's most senior counter-terror police officer Mark Rowley revealed four extreme right-wing attack plots were foiled last year. Ten Islamist-linked plots have also been stopped since the Westminster attack in March 2017, the Met Police officer said.

He added there are more than 600 live counter-terror investigations at any one time, focusing on more than 3,000 people of interest.

Security agencies must also keep 20,000 individuals, who have previously featured in inquiries, under review.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Sky News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon