Terrorism arrests at record level, figures show

Armed police in Downing Street Image copyright AFP
Image caption The number of stop and searches has risen

A record number of people have been arrested for terrorism-related offences in England, Wales and Scotland, Home Office figures show.

There were 315 arrests in the year to September 2015, an increase of a third on the previous year.

The rise was partly driven by more women, teenage girls and boys being detained, the report suggests.

BBC correspondent Danny Shaw suggested this bore out fears about young people being drawn into extremism.

The figures were further proof of the severe threat of terrorism facing the UK, he added.

Of the 315 people arrested, a significant number (115) did not face any further action by police, the data showed.

However, detectives consider an arrest alone can help by disrupting activities and sending an early warning that police are aware of the suspects, our correspondent says.

Some of the key findings in the report included:

  • The number of under-18s arrested for alleged terror offences almost doubled from 8 to 15 from 2013-14 to 2014-15
  • The number of women and girls detained more than doubled from 21 to 50 in 2014-15
  • 124 (39%) of those arrested in the year ending September 2015 have been charged, with a further 68 (22%) released on bail
  • 43 have been convicted this year (a rise from 30 last year). Eight were acquitted

Officials began collecting terrorism-related data in 2001.

The study also found Metropolitan Police officers carried out 473 stop and searches under the Terrorism Act, 8% of which led to an arrest.

People considering themselves to be "Asian or Asian British" experienced the largest increase (53%) in searches, according to the report.

More on this story