Record Number of UK Terror Arrests, Surge 58 Per Cent in One Year

Armed police on St Thomas Street, London, Sunday June 4, 2017, near the scene of Saturday night's terrorist incident on London Bridge and at Borough Market. Several people were killed in the terror attack at the heart of London and dozens injured. Prime Minister Theresa May convened an emergency security …
Associated Press

The number of people being arrested in the UK for terror offences has surged by 58 per cent in a year to a new record high, with 32 per cent of suspects arrested not considering themselves as holding British nationality.

There were 412 people apprehended in relation to terror in 2017, according to the latest Home Office figures. The surge came during a period were 36 people were killed and hundreds injured in a series of predominantly Islamic fundamentalist attacks.

There were deadly strikes in Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge, and Finsbury Park, largely committed by Islamic State-inspired Islamic extremists, including asylum seekers and migrants, and one killing by an anti-Muslim extremist from Wales.

The Home Office said the bulk of arrests were linked to the Islamic extremist attacks at London Bridge, Parsons Green, and Manchester Arena.

Of the arrests, 135 resulted in someone being charged, of which 110 were related to terrorism offences. A further 228, however, were released without charge.

The vast majority of suspects were men, and they were mainly British ‘Asians’ originating from South Asia. Over the year, 170 Asian people were arrested in relation to terror offences, representing a 37 per cent increase on 2016.

Yet the ethnic group that saw the largest increase was white people, surging by a massive 61 per cent from 90 arrests in 2016 to 145 last year. The number of suspects who consider themselves of British nationality actually fell, however, by 6 per cent to 68 per cent.

The number of women arrested rose to 61 and the number of under-18s to 27 – both record numbers.

Ben Wallace, the security minister, said in a statement: “The police and security services 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.

“The public should remain alert but not alarmed and report any suspicions they have about unusual activity or behaviour to the appropriate authorities.”

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