UK: 86% of terrorism arrests were suspects holding ‘Islamist views’

Daily Mail Online, March 8, 2018.

Police have never been busier in the fight against terrorism in the UK as new figures show a record number of arrests last year.

Officers seized 412 suspects for terror-related offences in Britain in 2017 – a massive leap of more than half on the 261 arrests the previous year.

Newly-released Home Office figures showed the increase was due to the large number of arrests after terror attacks in Manchester and London – but also revealed the growing menace of far-right extremism also played a part.

Police and MI5 are now keeping tabs on 20,000 former ‘subjects of interest’. They are running more than 600 live counter-terror investigations involving 3,000 individuals.

Officer say 10 Islamist and four extreme right-wing plots have been stooped since the Westminster atrocity in march last year.

The rise of far-right attacks continued, with 20 right wing extremists currently in custody and nine per cent of last year’s arrests concerning far-right extremists.

Twelve arrests were made in connection with the attack on Westminster Bridge and Westminster Palace on March 22 and 23 arrests were made in connection to the Manchester Arena attack on May 22.

There were also 21 arrests made after June’s London Bridge attack and one in connection to the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, which hit the capital the same month.

Seven people were arrested following the Parsons Green attack in West London just three months later.

There was an increase in arrests across all ethnic groups but the largest increase was in people fitting in the category of ‘white’ and arrests of those aged under 18 reached record levels, with 27 last year.

Terror-related arrests of white people surged by 61 per cent compared with 2016, when 90 arrests were made. Last year 145 white people were arrested, marking the largest number since such data started being collected. The number of Asian people arrested also rose by 37 per cent from 124 to 170.

The number of terror-related arrests of females was the highest since data collection began in 2001, with them making up 61 (15 per cent) of those arrested. The number of male arrests in 2017 marks the largest number since collection began.

Of those arrested last year, 135 were charged, with 110 charged with terror-related offences.

Twenty-nine of those were prosecuted and convicted of crimes, 25 of which were terror-related and four of which were not.

A total of 228 people were released without charge, 33 were bailed pending further inquiries, 13 faced ‘alternative action’ and three cases were still pending when the Home Office bulletin was compiled.

Last year also marched the lowest proportion of terror-related arrests made on people who consider themselves to be British or having British dual nationality since 2011.

Of those arrested, 68 per cent fit into that category, which is a reduction of six percentage points on 2016.

It marks the lowest proportion since 2011, when the figure was at 64 per cent. Data collection began after the September 11 attacks hit New York City. Overall figures since then show 59 per cent of those arrested considered themselves either British or having British dual nationality.

The figures also reveal the majority of those in custody held Islamist extremist views. Of those detained, 86 per cent held ‘Islamist Extremist’ views, with nine per cent holding ‘Far-Right’ beliefs and five per cent subscribing to ‘Other’ ideologies….