More white sus­pects as ter­ror ar­rests surge

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Martin Evans

A SURGE in the num­ber of white sus­pects has pushed the to­tal of ter­ror­ism­re­lated ar­rests in the UK to a record high, of­fi­cial fig­ures have shown.

A to­tal of 400 peo­ple were de­tained on sus­pi­cion of ter­ror­ism of­fences last year, up 54 per cent on the pre­vi­ous 12 months and the high­est num­ber since records be­gan in 2001.

While more than 60 of those ar­rested were de­tained af­ter the Manch­ester and Lon­don atroc­i­ties, fig­ures showed al­most half of those ar­rested last year were far-right ex­trem­ists.

The to­tal num­ber of white peo­ple ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of ter­ror-re­lated of­fences rose by 77 per cent, up from 81 to 143. Asians still made up the largest num­ber of ar­rests over­all, 174, which ac­counted for 44 per cent of the to­tal, a slight drop on the pre­vi­ous 12 months. It was also re­vealed that 58 of those held were fe­male – the high­est num­ber on record.

A Home Of­fice sta­tis­ti­cal bul­letin said: “The num­ber of ar­rests in the year to Septem­ber 30 2017 was the high­est since the data col­lec­tion be­gan.” Out of the 400 peo­ple ar­rested, 97 peo­ple were charged with ter­ror-re­lated of­fences; 18 were charged with other of­fences; 213 were freed with­out charge and 60 were re­leased on bail; 11 faced al­ter­na­tive ac­tion and one case was pend­ing.

Ear­lier this week, An­drew Parker, the head of MI5, re­vealed that Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence had foiled nine ter­ror plots in the past 12 months.

Ben Wal­lace, se­cu­rity min­is­ter, said po­lice and se­cu­rity ser­vices “have been clear that we are fac­ing a shift rather than a short-term spike in the ter­ror­ist threat”. He added: “But this is not the to­tal­ity of our work. The whole of so­ci­ety must come to­gether to chal­lenge the ter­ror­ist threat.”

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