Fall in arrests doesn’t change terror threat

New Home Office figures reveal a drop in arrests for terrorism-related activity in the last year, but police are warning that the terrorist threat facing Britain remains severe.

There were 351 arrests for terrorism-related activity in the year to the end of June, which is a drop of 22 per cent when compared with 449 in the previous 12 months.

However, counter terror police say that the decline should not be treated as a reduction in the scale of the risk, but instead explaining the fall as the result of a spike in arrests following the five main attacks in London and Manchester in the previous reporting year.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon said: “We may have seen a reduction in the number of arrests in the last 12 months, but we should put that in context by saying that we prevented 13 Islamist-related and four extreme right-wing plots since March 2017, so it certainly doesn’t indicate a reduction in the threat we all face from terrorism.

“The step-change in terrorist activity is matched only by an increased effort from police and security services, and our officers are working incredibly hard to protect the public and to bring people to justice, which is evidenced by the impressive conviction rate achieved in the last year.”

The data also revealed that the number of white suspected terrorists being arrested in the UK has overtaken those of Asian appearance for the first time in more than a decade. White suspects accounted for 38 per cent of terror related arrests, followed by those of Asian appearance on 37 per cent and black suspects on nine per cent.

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