Counter Terrorism Policing are urging people to be vigilant in their online lives, as latest arrest statistics show continued increase in teens arrested for terrorism-related offences
The Home Office’s quarterly release of statistics relating to the police’s use of powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 revealed that there were 190 counter terrorism arrests in the year to September.
Children under 18 made up 16% (31) of the total number of arrests, a 3% increase on the previous calendar year.
Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing Tim Jacques said:
“We are concerned about the powerful adverse influence that online content is having on individuals who end up in our counter terrorism casework.
“The reality is that dangerous and extremist content shared online, is making it easier for individuals to self-radicalise, which in turn is driving the ever-evolving threat.
“This risk is increasingly manifesting itself in the younger age groups, where it can take potentially deeper hold.
“The nature of some of this material means people may well find themselves the subject of one of our investigations if they engage with such horrific online content regardless of their intentions”.
The UK’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) works around the clock to tackle the proliferation of terrorist content and material online.
If you see or hear something that doesn’t feel right report it at gov.uk/ACTIf you see or hear something that doesn’t feel right report it at gov.uk/ACT
Launched in 2010, the unit works with internet service providers and tech companies to have extremist content removed. Since then, the unit has launched thousands of investigations and its structure has been replicated by numerous international law enforcement partners across the globe.
Many of the CTIRUs assessments start with a public referral, and can lead to successful convictions for terrorism offences.
Tim Jacques continued:
“We often remind the public to be vigilant when they are out and about in their communities, but it’s crucial that people stay alert in online spaces too.
“As the time we spend on our devices increased, so must our vigilance – if you see footage, videos, images or posts that don’t feel right, then report them so we can take action.
“If you’re worried about someone you know, whether they’re a younger person in your family, or anyone else being influenced in a concerning way, then I would urge you to seek support. There is always someone who can listen and help stop someone taking a dangerous path.”
If you see something that doesn’t feel right, report it online via gov.uk/ACT. You can also download the iREPORTit app on Apple IOS and Android that allows you to quickly and easily report extremist content online. In an emergency always call 999
Find advice and support to help a friend or family member you’re concerned about at actearly.uk.