Counter Terrorism Policing has urged communities in the U.K. to stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ and continue to report any concerns, as the latest terrorism-related arrest statistics are released.
The Home Office’s quarterly figures relating to the police’s use of powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 have revealed that there were 186 counter-terrorism related arrests in the year to December 2021, a fall of 1% on the previous calendar year.
Whilst this is the lowest number of arrests in a calendar year since 2011, senior officers are asking the public to remain alert, and report any suspicious activity.
Counter Terrorism Policing’s Senior National Coordinator, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, said: “In the last six months of 2021, we saw two terrorist attacks happen on the streets of the UK. These incidents were a stark reminder that the risk is still there, and that it can affect any community at any time.
“I know it’s difficult to talk about a terrorist attacks happening where you live, in the places you know, or love, but it’s important that we do – because it helps reinforce that message, that everyone has a part to play in defeating terrorism.”
Of the 186 arrests 57 (31%) resulted in a charge, of which 49 were charged with terrorism-related offenses.
Out of those arrested, 11% were under 18, while the 30 and over age-group accounted for the largest number of arrests at 52%.
The vast majority of the 186 people arrested were male, just 4% were female.
Deputy Commissioner Haydon continued: “With recent incidents in mind, what is absolutely essential is that the public stay alert, and really take notice of anything that feels strange or suspicious.
“Whilst our officers are working around the clock to prevent incidents and pursue those who pose a risk to public safety, people at the heart of our communities are vital to what we do.
“What we need is communities to stand shoulder to shoulder, and work with us too.
“In the last year, we received around 10,000 reports from the public about suspected terrorist activity, a fifth of those reports provided useful intelligence.
“That means that information members of the public submit online, or give us a call about, really does have an impact on police investigations.
“So if you think it might be a waste of our time, consider that it could very quickly land on an officer’s desk and be an important piece of a puzzle.”