Decrease in counter terrorism arrests during lockdown
Despite a decline in the number of terrorism-related arrests during lockdown, Counter Terrorism Policing has warned that the threat from terrorism has not been diminished by the global pandemic.
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 a total of 229 arrests for terrorism-related activity in the year ending 30 June 2020, 47 fewer than the number in the previous year.
The reduction was largely seen during the final three months of the year to 30 June, with the UK-wide lockdown resulting in a reduction of crime overall between April and June.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “The UK saw an overall reduction in crime between April and June as a result of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, and that is reflected in these statistics. Counter Terrorism Policing frequently use non-terrorism legislation to make arrests and disrupt terrorist activity, and that overall reduction gave us fewer opportunities for us to do so during the last three months.
“Despite this reduction in arrests, we must not be complacent and think the threat from terrorism has diminished. The national Counter Terrorism network has evolved over the last few months to make sure we’ve continued to provide our vital service to protect the public, but as ever we need your help in this task.
“When we say that ‘Communities defeat terrorism’ it is not just a catchphrase. We know from experience that public information and action, including being vigilant, helps saves lives and lead to the significant arrests detailed in these statistics.”