The number of arrests made for terror-related offences in the UK jumped a record 68 per cent in the last 12 months up to June this year, according to official figures released today. According to the UK Home Office, 379 arrests reflects a spike during this year following a series of terror attacks across the country, marking the highest number of terror arrests in a 12-month period since records began in 2001. “This includes the 12 arrests made in connection with the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge and Westminster Palace (March 22, 2017), 23 arrests in connection to the terrorist attack in Manchester (May 22, 2017), 21 arrests in connection to the London Bridge attack (June 3, 2017) and one arrest in connection to the Finsbury Park Mosque attack (June 19, 2017),” the Home Office said in its quarterly statistical bulletin.
Of the total number of arrests, 105 people went on to be charged with a terror-related offence and 32 of them have since been found guilty. A further 68 were awaiting prosecution. The number of terrorist prisoners in British jails has also registered a hike in the past year by 35 per cent to 204. The Home Office said 91 per cent of those in prison on June 30 this year held Islamist extremist views and a further 5 per cent displayed far-right beliefs.
The vast majority of those arrested were men aged over 30, British and of an “Asian ethnic” appearance and more than a third of those detained were white. More than three quarters were categorised as “international” terrorists, indicating they were linked to or motivated by a foreign group such as the Islamic State (ISIS). As well as intelligence operations and arrests, Scotland Yard carried out more than 600 stop and searches under the UK’s Terrorism Act in the past year, 8 per cent of which resulted in arrests.
British security services have previously revealed that they are monitoring around 3,000 people perceived to be an imminent terror threat, as well as a wider pool of 23,000 people who have previously appeared on the radar of counter- terror agencies. An estimated 19 terror plots aimed at the UK are believed to have been foiled in the past year alone.