Terror arrests hit record high as security services tackle unprecedented threat

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Terror-related arrests have soared to a record high as security services confront an unprecedented threat, new figures reveal.

There were 379 arrests for terrorism-related offences in Britain in the year ending June 2017, a rate of more than one a day and the highest total in a year since data collection began in 2001.

Dozens of individuals were held following terror swoops in the wake of the attacks in London and Manchester.

Arrests jumped by 68 per cent year on year, with the increase partly driven by activity mounted amid a flurry of terrorist incidents between March 22 and June 19.

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. The figures come as former prime minister David Cameron urged the Government to be “more focused” on tackling extremism.  The ex-Tory leader, who vowed to defeat the “poison” of extremist views during his own time in office said there should be no “opt-outs” on the issue.

In a speech to the anti-Semitism charity Community Safety Trust, he said: “There should be no opt-outs for combating extremism.

“Not for universities, not for schools, not for aid organisations, not for governments, not for communities — not for anyone.” He added: “We all need to be far more focused on combating Islamist extremism in all its forms.

“We won’t win this fight against extremism if we let extremist preachers come here and poison minds.”

Following the Manchester Arena bomb, Theresa May announced she was setting up a Commission for Countering Extremism, as well as a review of counter-terrorism powers and tackling online extremist content.


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