Home > Home Office, legal and law enforcement, terrorism, United Kingdom > Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: Arrests, outcomes and stops and searches — Great Britain 2011/12

Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: Arrests, outcomes and stops and searches — Great Britain 2011/12

January 2, 2013

Operation of police powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent legislation: Arrests, outcomes and stops and searches — Great Britain 2011/12 (PDF)

Source: Home Office

There were 206 terrorism arrests in 2011/12, up from 126 in 2010/11 but close to the annual average of 207 since 1 April 2002. Approximately a third of the increase in 2011/12 related to the policing of a demonstration in the October to December quarter. Since 11 September 2001 there have been a total of 2,174 terrorism arrests.

Thirty-five per cent of terrorism arrests in 2011/12 resulted in a charge, down seven percentage points on 2010/11. A comparison with persons aged 18 and over arrested for recorded crime offences in 2010/11 indicates that 45 per cent are proceeded against at court. Forty-eight per cent of those arrested for suspected terrorism offences were released without charge and the remaining 17 per cent had alternative action taken against them. Since 11 September 2001, 36 per cent of those arrested for terrorism-related offences were charged, 54 per cent were released and ten per cent had alternative action taken.

Of the charges brought in 2011/12, 53 per cent were terrorism-related (excluding Schedule 7 charges), as compared with 59 per cent since 11 September 2001. The main offences for which persons were charged under terrorism legislation since 2001 were possession of an article for terrorist purposes, preparation for terrorist acts and fundraising. For terrorism-related offences under nonterrorism legislation the most common offences persons were charged for were conspiracy to commit murder and offences under the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

Of the 50 persons arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT) in 2011/12, exactly half were held in detention for less than two days before charge, release or other action. All but three detainees were held in pre-charge detention for seven days or less; those held for longer were held for no more than 12 days, and were subsequently charged by the police. Since the extension of the precharge detention period from 14 to 28 days in 2006, 11 persons have been held for over 14 days and six for the full period of 28 days. The maximum period of pre-charge detention under TACT was reduced from 28 days to 14 days on 25 January 2011.

At the time of publication, 41 per cent of those charged with terrorism-related offences in 2011/12 had been convicted of an offence, with 44 per cent, or 17 defendants, awaiting trial. This compares with 61 per cent convicted for terrorism-related offences since 11 September 2001, a total of 283 persons.

Data provided by the Crown Prosecution Service show that 18 of the 23 trials completed in 2011/12 for offences under terrorism legislation resulted in defendants being convicted. For trials under nonterrorism legislation, one of the two persons tried in 2011/12 was found guilty. Eighteen defendants in total were sentenced to immediate custody, of which one received a life sentence. In addition, one defendant received a non-custodial sentence during this period.

As at 31 March 2012, 118 persons were in prison custody in Great Britain for terrorism-related offences, three-quarters of whom were UK nationals. Of the 118 prisoners, 19 were classified as domestic extremists/separatists and four were in custody with historic convictions pre-dating current legislation under TACT.

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