Increase in number of young people arrested for terrorism offences

Figures released by the home office have revealed that the number of young people being arrested on suspicion of terrorism-related offences in the UK continues to rise.

Police made 166 counter terrorism arrests in the year to 31 December 2022, of which 32 were under 17. This is an 11 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

Counter Terrorism Policing’s Deputy Senior National Coordinator Richard Smith said: “The reality is that children and teenagers, some as young 12 or 13, are now featuring more frequently in our investigative casework.

“The statistics are stark and I know that they’re a difficult read for the public, particularly parents and carers – as police officers and investigators we absolutely share that concern.

“Our priority is always to protect the public and, at the sharpest end of the threat, individuals will be charged and prosecuted for criminal offences. However, for others, there may be different options.

“When anyone enters the counter terrorism system, we will always consider whether multi-agency interventions and safeguarding protocols will help mitigate the risk to the public. These can also work in the best interests of the individual, which is especially important when dealing with young people.

“Much like the terrorist threat, our approach is always evolving and we have a responsibility to consider all legitimate options to keep people safe.”

Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay


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