82 Per Cent of Britons Back Scrapping Early Release After Terror Attack

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: A Metropolitan Police Armed Response officer stands guard near Borough Market after a number of people are believed to have been injured after a stabbing at London Bridge, police have said, on November 29, 2019 in London, England. Police responded to an incident around 2:00 …
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The vast majority of Britons want to end the automatic early prison release of terrorists.

Last Friday, Usman Husain Khan, 28, stabbed to death two people and injured three others on London Bridge whilst attending a rehabilitation programme. He was shot dead by police responding to the attack.

Khan was a convicted terrorist, having been jailed in 2012 for a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange, pubs in the town of Stoke, and to start a jihadist training camp in Pakistan, the country of his parents’ birth. He was initially sentenced to an IPP — an indeterminate sentence for public protection — but the Court of Appeal quashed that ruling in 2013.

The Tories have scrapped IPPs since Khan’s initial sentence, and the European Court of Human Rights has deemed them unlawful.

The Islamist was resentenced to 16 years in prison, and with time served on remand taken into account he was automatically released in December 2018, halfway through his prison sentence as per British judicial standards. It was whilst out on licence and wearing an ankle tag that he committed his attack.

YouGov measured the impact of the London Bridge terror attack and found that 82 per cent of the general population backs the end of automatic early release. Broken down by political affiliation, at least three-quarters of all those backed scrapping automatic release for terrorists, with the proposal having the support of 91 per cent of those intending to vote Conservative, 79 per cent of Liberal Democrats, and 75 per cent of Labour supporters.

The latter findings will prove problematic for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said that convicted terrorists should “not necessarily” have to serve their full prison term after the attack.

In further bad news for Corbyn, it was found that Britons trust the Conservatives by more than two-to-one (43 per cent to 21 per cent) over Labour to handle issues of security and anti-terrorism. Amongst Conservative voters, that figure is an overwhelming 91 per cent. However, Labour voters only have two-thirds’ the confidence in their own party to handle security and terrorism, with only 59 per cent saying their party was up to the challenge.

Similar figures are seen in terms of which leader Britons think could handle the issues of security and anti-terrorism. At more than two-to-one, Britons back Boris over Corbyn (45 per cent to 22 per cent). Ninety-three per cent of Tories back Boris to lead the country in national security matters, compared to 60 per cent of Labour voters having confidence in Corbyn.

YouGov’s study also revealed on Thursday that Britons feel overall less confident in authorities to deal with the threat of extremism and increased fear in the likelihood of an attack.

In the survey taken between December 2nd and 3rd, 62 per cent of respondents say they think the threat of a terror attack had increased in the last five years, up from 47 per cent when Britons were asked the same question between November 5th and 6th. Eighty-seven per cent think further attacks are likely (up seven per cent since last month).

Less than half — 45 per cent — think the government is dealing with the threat of extremism effectively — down from 64 per cent from November. One in ten Britons also think it is likely that they, or a loved one, will some day be harmed in a terror attack.

The Times reported on Thursday that terror arrests are at their lowest since 2011, despite an increase in investigations. Figures released by the Home Office also revealed that 53 convicted terrorists were released on licence in the year to June.

Media reported on Friday that Usman Khan’s body had been sent to Pakistan for burial, with a cousin telling Sky News that his parents “don’t want to bury him in the UK” because they were “scared”.

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