UK: Over 40 Per Cent of Terrorists Jailed in Past Decade Will Be Back on the Streets by End of 2018

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Over 40 per cent of terrorists convicted and imprisoned over the past decade will be back on the streets by the end of 2018, having served fairly light sentences.

Figures compiled by the Sentencing Council and analysed by the left-liberal Guardian show more than 80 of 193 terms issued for terrorism offences between 2007 and 2016 will have run their course by the end of the year — but the true figure could be much higher, as it the typical British prison sentence paroles criminals automatically once half the sentence has been served.

Radical Islamic hate preacher Anjem Choudary, for example, was inaccurately reported as having been “jailed for five-and-a-half years” for urging Muslims to support the Islamic State in September 2016, but will, in fact, be among the 80 terrorists released by the end of this year — having completed the “custodial portion” of what was misleadingly described as a “prison” sentence.

“Terrorist prisoners released on licence place a resource burden on both specialist counter-terrorism detectives and on mainstream policing,” commented Richard Walton, who led Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command for five years.

“A risk-management process is used to monitor those released on licence and the monitoring of high-risk offenders is extremely resource intensive.

“In essence, however, former convicted terrorist offenders are a worrying risk pool for MI5 and counter-terrorist policing. Intelligence is often insufficient to gauge whether they have any intent to re-offend owing to their recent incarceration. Those intending to re-offend also often ‘lay low’ for a period as they know that there will be close attention on them after release.”

Napo, the probation officers’ trade union, has also expressed concern about its members’ capacity to adequately monitor the flood of terrorist ex-cons leaving prison and mingling with the general public.

“Our members are overworked and understaffed, resulting in enormous pressures on them to do an extremely challenging job,” warned Napo general secretary Ian Lawrence.

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