The number of terrorists brought to justice following Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP) investigations has reached its highest level in nearly ten years, according to the latest Home Office statistics.
A total of 100 people were brought to trial in the year ending 30 June 2018, an increase of 39% from the previous year.
Of those, 90 were successfully convicted, marking the highest number of persons tried and highest number of successful convictions since data collection began in 2009.
The diligence of the investigations carried out by CTP officers, working closely with their partners in the CPS, also helped to increase the number of terrorism-related offenders receiving custodial sentences longer than 10 years, with life sentences being handed out in 10 cases – rising from two in the previous 12 months.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, CTP’s Senior National Coordinator, said: “At a time when we are still seeing unprecedented levels of demand across CT Policing, we are still working tirelessly to ensure that our investigations yield positive results at court.
“It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our officers and support staff, not just in London but across our 11 Counter Terrorism Units nationwide.
“We’re not only successfully prosecuting more people than ever before, but we’re also jailing the most dangerous offenders for longer – helping to keep the public safe.”
The Home Office statistics reveal that the number of terrorism-related arrests actually fell by 22% from 449 to 351 in the year ending 30 June 2018.
This can largely be explained by the spike in arrests following the five terror attacks during the previous reporting year, and should not be mistaken for a reduction in the threat or police activity in the Counter Terrorism sphere.
In fact, the number of active investigations being carried out by CT Policing and the Security Services has reached it’s highest ever level, with the figure currently standing at more than 650 live investigations into the most dangerous individuals.
“Demands upon CT Policing have increased by about a third since the start of 2017,” said DAC Haydon.
“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 (XRW) 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.
“But I would also like to use this opportunity to remind the public that they, too, play a part in these successes.
“Many of these arrests, convictions and investigations hinge upon vital information provided by members of the public, either by the online form found at www.gov.uk/ACT or via our confidential number 0800 789 321.
“So please, if you see anything suspicious or someone acting in a way that doesn’t feel right, tell police and you may well be playing a vital role in keeping the public safe or help us successfully convict those intent on doing us harm.”