Terrorism arrests rise sharply in year to June

DANIEL SORABJI via Getty Images
Terror-related arrests have surged in Britain following major attacks in London and Manchester

The United Kingdom made a record number of terrorism-related arrests over the past year, newly-released government data show.

While more than three quarters of the arrests were related to global terrorism, there was a sharp rise in the number of arrests for domestic terrorism (from 10 to 52).

It includes dozens of people held in swoops in the wake of the horrific attacks in London and Manchester, earlier this year.

These arrests represented an increase of 68 percent over the 226 people arrested for the same period in 2016.

Twelve of the arrests came after a man drove his auto into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament in March.

The 379 total includes 57 arrests made in connection with the Westminster (12 arrests), Manchester (23 arrests), London Bridge (21 arrests) and Finsbury Park (one arrest) attacks.

Press Association Home Office
The number of arrests made over the last year is the highest on record
Press Association Home Office The number of arrests made over the last year is the highest on record

According to the Home Office quarterly bulletin on the police's use of counter-terrorism powers, 123 of the suspects arrested were charged - 105 with terrorism offences - while 189 were released.

However, while the number of arrests soared to a record high, the majority did not lead to prosecutions.

"We have to constantly balance what is a proportionate and necessary investigation against the numbers we are looking at and I am very confident we will continue to do that to the best of our ability".

The police and MI5 are typically running about 500 investigations involving 3,000 individuals at any time, and at least 20,000 former "subjects of interest" are also kept under review, according to the Sky News website.

The United Kingdom has suffered a series of terror attacks this year. The Home Office said 91% of those prisoners held extreme Islamist views, while a further 5% had far-right ideologies.

Since mid-2013, the authorities have thwarted 19 plots - including six since the Westminster attack.

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