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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/operation-of-police-powers-under-the-terrorism-act-2000-quarterly-update-to-june-2014/operation-of-police-powers-under-the-terrorism-act-2000-and-subsequent-legislation-arrests-outcomes-and-stops-and-searches-quarterly-update-to-30-j
This release brings together statistical material relating to powers under terrorism legislation, including arrests and their outcomes, and stops and searches. Data presented here were submitted to the Home Office by the Association of Chief Police Officers, Crown Prosecution Service, National Offender Management Service, Scottish Prison Service and police forces in Great Britain, and cover the period up to 30 June 2014.
Updates to this statistical series are published every quarter, usually during the months of March, June, September and December. The September release each year is an expanded ‘annual’ release which presents yearly trends spanning back to 11 September 2001, whereas the other three releases are ‘quarterly’ releases, spanning the most recent 9 quarters as well as a total since 11 September 2001.
Links to other related statistical publications as well as further information about terrorism legislation, categories, historical changes and terminology used are available in the user guide. Data tables also accompany this release.
The statistics presented in this release provide the Home Office with a single authoritative source of data which captures the latest position in relation to terrorism-related offending and the use of counter-terrorism police powers in Great Britain. These statistics are fully quality assured, reconcilable, and underpinned by clearly defined classifications. Figures are also presented in a manner consistent with published figures on arrests and court proceedings.
Data presented in this release are used in a number of ways, for example to monitor the use of specific pieces of counter-terrorism legislation or the effectiveness of stop and search procedures, to track levels of police activity over time and to answer requests from members of the public on terrorism-related offending in Great Britain.
1. Summary points
1.1 Arrests and outcomes
In the year ending 30 June 2014:
There were 239 persons arrested for terrorism-related offences, down from 245 in the previous year.
Of the 239 persons arrested the highest proportions by sex, ethnicity and nationality were: 212 (89%) male, 116 (49%) recorded as of Asian ethnic appearance and 181 (76%) self-defined as either British or British dual nationality.
Forty-six per cent of terrorism arrests resulted in a charge, a fall of 4 percentage points on the previous year. Of the charges brought during the year, 74% were terrorism-related.
At the time of data provision for this release (10 October 2014), 32 of the 82 persons charged with terrorism-related offences had been proceeded against. Of these, 29 persons were convicted of an offence.
1.2 Court proceedings
Data provided by the Crown Prosecution Service show that 18 of the 26 defendants proceeded against during the year for terrorism-related offences were convicted.
Seventeen of the 18 defendants convicted were sentenced to immediate prison custody, 3 of whom received life sentences.
1.3 Terrorist and extremist prisoners
As at 30 June 2014 there were 157 terrorist/extremist prisoners in Great Britain, 84% of whom were UK nationals. A quarter of the prisoners were classified as domestic extremists/separatists.
Sixty prisoners were released during the year ending 30 June 2014.
1.4 Stops and searches
No searches were made by the police in Great Britain under section 47A of Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT) in the year ending 30 June 2014. To date, no searches have been made in Great Britain under this power.
The Metropolitan Police Service stopped and searched 369 persons under section 43 (s43) of TACT. This represents a 35% fall on the previous year’s total of 568. The arrest rate for s43 searches was 6%, the same proportion as the previous year.
A total of 40,663 persons were stopped at ports in Great Britain under Schedule 7 to TACT, a fall of 26% on the previous year. In total, 500 persons were detained after a Schedule 7 examination in the year ending 30 June 2014.
2. Arrests and outcomes
Statistics are presented here on the number of persons arrested by police in Great Britain, where there is suspicion of involvement with terrorism. Outcomes of these arrests are also included up to the stage of prosecution, release, or other outcome. The information presented here was provided by the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Counter Terrorism Coordination Centre (ACTCC), based on the latest position with each case at the date of data provision (10 October 2014) and covers the period up to 30 June 2014.
The relatively small numbers of persons arrested for terrorism-related offences each year mean that proportionally large fluctuations in arrests can result from particular police operations, or individual cases involving multiple suspects. Changes in patterns of arrests can also be influenced by increased reporting of suspicious activity by the public following terrorist attacks (such as the London attacks on 7 June 2005), as well as operational decisions made by the police in response to specific terrorist threats, or during major events (such as the London 2012 Olympics).
There were 239 persons arrested for terrorism-related offences in the year ending 30 June 2014, a fall of 2% on the previous year. Since 11 September 2001, when the current data collection was set up by the ACTCC, there have been 2,710 terrorism arrests in total.
Terrorism-related arrests can be made under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), Scottish Common Law, or under section 41 (s41) of the Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT) if arresting officers require additional powers of detention or need to arrest a person suspected of terrorism-related activity without a warrant. The decision on whether to arrest a person suspected of terrorism-related activity under s41 of TACT or PACE is an operational decision for the police.
Since September 2001 the proportion of arrests under s41 of TACT was 62%. In recent years, however, the proportion of arrests under s41 has been much lower (18% in the year ending 30 June 2014). Over the last 2 years there was an average of 11 arrests per quarter under s41 of TACT, compared with 50 arrests per quarter under PACE.
Figure 1: Persons arrested for terrorism-related offences
Source: Home Office, Data table A.01.
2.3 Pre-charge detention under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000
Pre-charge detention assists the police in the investigation and accumulation of evidence pertaining to potential terrorism offences. Currently the maximum time a terrorism suspect can be held for by the police is 14 days (reduced from 28 days in January 2011). Further information on pre-charge detention powers is given in the user guide.
In the year ending 30 June 2014, 40 of the 43 detainees were dealt with within 7 days (out of 14 days detention available under terrorism legislation), with 8 detained for less than a day.
2.4 Charges and charging rates
Of the 239 persons arrested for terrorism-related offences in the year ending 30 June 2014, 111 (46%) were charged, 75 (31%) were released without charge and 53 (22%) had alternative action taken against them (mainly bailed to return pending further investigation). This compares to 39% charged, 52% released without charge and 9% with alternative action taken since 11 September 2001. The 46% of terrorism arrests resulting in a charge in the year ending 30 June 2004 represents a fall of 4 percentage points on the previous year.
Figure 2: Persons charged following terrorism-related arrests, by type of charge
Source: Home Office, Data table A.04.
Often, terrorism-related arrests can result in charges for non-terrorism-related offences as the police investigate cases and new information comes to light.
Of the 111 charges brought in the year ending 30 June 2014, 82 (74%) were terrorism-related, comprising 45 under terrorism legislation, a further 5 specifically under Schedule 7 to TACT for failure to comply with border controls and 32 under other legislation. The remaining 29 charges (26%) were for other non terrorism-related offences.
For the 1,050 charges since 11 September 2001 the breakdown of charges was: 398 (38%) under terrorism legislation; 75 (7%) under Schedule 7 to TACT; 184 (18%) for terrorism-related offences under other legislation and the remaining 393 (37%) for other non terrorism-related offences.
2.5 Charges by offence
In line with the normal procedures for criminal justice statistics, each suspect has been classified in terms of a single principal offence. This means that where an individual has been charged with a number of offences they are recorded only against the most serious one.
For the 473 persons charged under terrorism legislation since 11 September 2001 the main principal charges related to:
- preparation for terrorist acts (17% of such charges)
- possession of an article for terrorist purposes (16%)
- failing to comply with duty at a port or border controls (16%)
- collection of information useful for an act of terrorism (11%)
- fundraising (10%)
- membership of a proscribed organisation (7%)
For the 184 persons charged under non-terrorism legislation where the offence was considered terrorism-related, the most prevalent principal charges were:
- conspiracy to commit murder (18%)
- offences under the Explosive Substances Act 1883 (14%)
- offences under the Fraud Act 2006 (7%)
- offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (7%)
In addition to the above charges, a total of 393 persons have been charged with offences identified by the ACTCC to be not terrorism-related. The most frequent principal charges were for:
- Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 (10%)
- Theft Acts 1968 and 1978 (9%)
- Fraud Act 2006 (7%)
- Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (7%)
- Public Order Act 1986 (6%)
- Firearms Act 1968 (6%)
2.6 Court proceedings and outcomes of charges
This section considers the outcomes for persons charged, based on year of arrest. Due to the complex nature of terrorism investigations, trials may take place several years after an arrest or charge takes place. Trials in the year ending 30 June 2014 can, therefore, relate to arrests made in earlier years. It should be borne in mind that quoted numbers/proportions of persons charged and convicted will change as prosecutions are completed.
At the time of data provision for this release (10 October 2014), 32 of the 82 persons arrested and charged with terrorism-related offences in the year ending 30 June 2014 were proceeded against. Of these, 29 people were convicted: 14 for offences under terrorism legislation and 15 for non-terrorism legislation offences.
Since 11 September 2001, 418 of the 657 persons charged with terrorism-related offences have been convicted (64%); 227 for offences under terrorism legislation and 191 for non-terrorism legislation offences.
2.7 Figure 3: Outcome1 for persons charged2,3 with terrorism-related offences
Source: Home Office, Data table A.06c.
- Since 11 September 2001. Data presented here are based on the latest position with each case as at the date of data provision from ACTCC (10 October 2014).
- Includes all charges under terrorism legislation and under other legislation where considered by ACTCC to be terrorism-related.
- Refers to the substantive charge at indictment recorded by the Crown Prosecution Service.
- Difference in numbers between the totals for the 12 months ending 30 June 2013 and 30 June 2014.
- Excludes cases when a conviction was later quashed on appeal.
2.8 Persons convicted by offence
The most frequent principal offences for persons convicted since 11 September 2001 under terrorism legislation were:
- preparation for terrorist acts (25% of persons convicted)
- collection of information useful for an act of terrorism (16%)
- failing to comply with duty at a port or border controls (12%)
The main principal convictions under non-terrorism legislation which were considered terrorism-related were:
- offences under the Explosive Substances Act 1883 (18%)
- conspiracy to commit murder (10%)
- offences under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 (10%)
- Firearms Act 1968 offences (8%)
Details of terrorism arrests that subsequently resulted in a non-terrorism-related charge or conviction can be found in Tables A.07 and A.08c.
2.9 Gender, age and ethnic appearance of persons arrested, charged and convicted
Of the 2,710 persons arrested for terrorism-related offences since 11 September 2001, 93% were male. This proportion is similarly reflected in terrorism-related charges (93% male) and convictions (94% male). Full breakdowns can be found in Table A.09.
Since 11 September 2001, the age group with the highest proportion of persons arrested, charged, and convicted for a terrorism-related offence was the 30 and over age group, comprising 47% of persons arrested, 44% of persons charged and 42% of persons convicted. Full breakdowns can be found in Table A.10.
More than a third (37%) of all persons arrested since 11 September 2001 were recorded by police as being of Asian ethnic appearance. Proportions for other recorded ethnicities at arrest were: 30% White, 20% Other and 12% Black. Similar proportions were seen at charge and conviction. Full breakdowns can be found in Table A.11.
Of the 239 persons arrested the highest proportions by sex, ethnicity and nationality were: 212 (89%) male, 116 (49%) recorded as of Asian ethnic appearance and 181 (76%) self-defined as either British or British dual nationality.
2.10 Nationality of persons arrested, charged and convicted
Just over half of the 2,710 persons arrested for terrorism-related offences since 11 September 2001 self-declared their nationality as British or of British dual nationality (1,420, or 52%). Of the remaining persons arrested, and excluding those who declared a dual nationality, the most frequently self-declared nationalities were: Algeria (156 persons), Pakistan (135), Iraq (117), Afghanistan (75), Iran (63), India (59), Turkey (50) and Somalia (49).
In recent years the proportion of persons arrested who self-defined as either British or British dual nationality has been higher than the proportion since September 11 2001. Of the 239 persons arrested for terrorism-related offences in the year ending 30 June 2014, 181 (76%) self-defined as either British or British dual nationality.
Full breakdowns for all nationalities self-declared at arrest can be found in Table A.12a. Data on charges and convictions for terrorism-related offences broken down by their self-declared nationality at the time of arrest are in Tables A.12b and A.12c.
2.11 Categorisation of persons arrested and charged
Data on the categorisation of those arrested and charged are published in this release. The categories are based on involvement with any type of terrorism and separately identify those associated with domestic, international and Northern Ireland Related Terrorism (NIRT). The data also include persons found not to be associated with any type of terrorism at the time of arrest or charge (which could include airport travellers charged for failing to comply with an examination under Schedule 7 to TACT, then found to have no terrorist links after investigation).
Of those arrested since 11 September 2001, 79% were classified as international with 10% classified as domestic and 7% classified as associated with NIRT. Full breakdowns of classifications of those arrested, charged and convicted can be found in Table A.13.
2.12 Data tables
Data on persons arrested for terrorism-related offences, and the resulting charges and other outcomes, can be found in Tables A.01 to A.13.
2.13 Data quality and interpreting the figures
The data presented are based on the position as at 10 October 2014, when case information was provided to the Home Office by the ACTCC. As cases progress over time, outcomes can change and therefore figures for quarters previously published may be updated in this release.
The ACTCC regularly review their cases to ensure that records are up-to-date, which can result in records being added, removed or reclassified.
Ethnicities of persons arrested presented in this chapter are based on ethnic appearances recorded by police at the time of arrest, which, in some cases, may differ from the actual ethnicity of arrestees.
Self-declared nationalities of persons arrested may differ from their actual nationalities; this must be borne in mind when interpreting figures on arrestee nationalities presented above.
Categorisations of persons arrested presented here are based on assessment by the ACTCC and may not be mutually exclusive in all cases. Additionally, categorisations may change as cases progress and further information on each case comes to light. Full definitions of these categories can be found in the user guide. From the year ending March 2011 onwards the use of the ‘not classified’ category was reviewed to ensure that stricter categories of involvement with terrorism were adhered to. As a result, figures from that year onwards include a greater number of ‘not classified’ persons, and are therefore not directly comparable with figures for previous years.
The user guide provides further details relating to definitions, legislation and procedures, and data quality.
3. Court proceedings
Statistics are presented here on prosecutions by the Crown Prosecution Service Counter Terrorism Division (CPS CTD) that were completed in the year ending 30 June 2014. They relate to the number of defendants prosecuted, and are on the principal, or most serious, offence basis. In instances of cases involving more than one defendant, final outcomes have only been included when proceedings for each defendant have concluded.
Due to the complex nature of terrorism investigations, court proceedings may take place several years after an arrest or charge takes place. Proceedings completed in the year ending 30 June 2014 can relate to arrests made in earlier years.
3.2 Court proceedings
In the year ending 30 June 2014, court proceedings for 11 persons were completed by the CPS CTD for offences under terrorism legislation, with 9 resulting in conviction. Proceedings were for a wide range of offences. Additionally in the year ending 30 June 2014, 15 persons were proceeded against for terrorism-related offences under non-terrorism legislation. This total included 4 proceedings for false imprisonment (all resulting in acquittals) and also 3 for murder (all resulting in convictions).
A full breakdown of court proceedings and outcomes broken down by offence, including data for the previous year, can be seen in the data tables.
Eight of the 9 defendants convicted under terrorism legislation in the year ending 30 June 2014 received custodial sentences. The other defendant was sentenced to a fine. All 9 convicted under non-terrorism legislation received custodial sentences, including 3 life sentences.
Of all 18 persons convicted in the year ending 30 June 2014, 12 had pleaded guilty.
3.4 Data tables
Data on court proceedings dealt with by the CPS CTD can be found in Tables C.01 to C.04.
3.5 Data quality and interpreting the figures
In line with the normal procedures for criminal justice statistics, and in order to present an accurate count of the number of persons dealt with by the CPS CTD, data in part 3 (court proceedings) are presented on a principal offence basis. This means that, when a person is proceeded against for multiple offences at the same time, the most serious offence is the one counted in these data. If a person is subsequently proceeded against on another occasion for a different offence, the additional case will also be included in the dataset.
Due to the complex nature of terrorism investigations, court proceedings may take place several years after an arrest or charge takes place. Trials completed in 2013 can relate to arrests made in 2012 or earlier. Since the approach used in part 2 (arrests and outcomes) is based on time of arrest and the approach used here is based on time of trial outcome, data drawn from both may not be directly comparable.
4. Terrorist and extremist prisoners
Data presented here are provided by the National Offender Management Service and Scottish Prison Service, and show the number of persons who were in prison custody for terrorism-related offences and the number of domestic extremist prisoners in Great Britain as at 30 June 2014. Data on prisoners released in the year ending 30 June 2014 are also included.
4.2 Key facts
There were 157 terrorist/extremist prisoners in Great Britain on 30 June 2014, either on remand or following conviction. As at 30 June 2014 there were 117 prisoners in custody for terrorism-related offences. Of these 71 were in custody for offences under terrorism legislation, 42 for terrorism-related offences not under terrorism legislation and a further 4 were being held awaiting deportation. Forty prisoners were classified as domestic extremists/separatists, 38 of whom were in custody following conviction.
Of the 157 prisoners in Great Britain remanded or convicted for terrorism-related offences, 51 defined themselves as White at the time of reception into custody and 78 defined themselves as of Asian ethnic origin. Additionally, 16 prisoners defined themselves as Black.
Figure 4: Terrorist/extremist prison population as at 30 June 2014
Source: Home Office, Data table P.01.
The nationalities of the 157 terrorist/extremist prisoners in Great Britain were spread over 19 countries, with the majority recorded as being UK nationals (132). Others defined themselves as being non-UK European (7), African (9), Asian (7) or from the Middle East (1). The nationality of the remaining one prisoner was unrecorded.
In terms of self-declared religions, 113 of the 117 terrorism legislation or terrorism-related prisoners defined themselves as Muslim. For the 40 domestic extremists/separatists the picture was more mixed, with 17 declaring no religion and 8 declaring themselves as Anglican.
A total of 60 terrorist/extremist prisoners were released on completion of a custodial sentence in the year ending 30 June 2014. Of these, one had been serving a life sentence, 12 had served sentences of 4 years or more and 26 were released after serving sentences of less than 4 years. An additional 21 prisoners were released from custody having been held on remand or as non-criminal prisoners.
4.3 Data tables
Data on persons in prison custody can be found in Tables P.01 to P.05.
4.4 Data quality and interpreting the figures
Data presented in part 4 include persons held on remand as well as those held after conviction or sentencing. Categories for types of prisoners are based on assessment at the time of entering custody. Full definitions of these categories can be found in the user guide.
5. Stops and searches
Statistics are presented here on the use of certain stop and search powers available to police under the Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT). Information on the legislative background to these powers and the others covered in this section can be found in the user guide.
5.2 Stops and searches under the Terrorism Act 2000
Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (s44 TACT) provided police officers with the power to stop and search persons and vehicles for articles which could be used in connection with terrorism. Police forces were able to authorise use of s44 stops and searches within a particular area during an agreed period without the need of reasonable suspicion. Where powers were authorised for longer than 48 hours, the Home Secretary was required to confirm such authorisations. The majority of those police forces that regularly authorised the use of s44 ceased using the power to search persons following the Home Secretary’s statement on 8 July 2010. On 18 March 2011, all s44 powers were formally replaced with section 47A of the Terrorism Act 2000 (s47A) stop and search powers, which have a significantly higher threshold for authorisation than s44 searches. There has, as yet, been no use of stop and search powers under s47A in Great Britain.
Information collected from the Metropolitan Police Service shows that, in the year ending 30 June 2014, 369 persons were stopped and searched under section 43 (s43) of TACT. This represents a 35% fall on the previous year’s total of 568. The arrest rate for s43 searches was 6% in the year ending 30 June 2014, the same as the previous year.
Figure 5: Stops and searches of persons by the Metropolitan Police Service under section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000, and resultant arrests
Source: Home Office, Data table S.01.
Of those stopped and searched under s43 of TACT, the proportion who defined themselves as White rose from 36% in the year ending 30 June 2013 to 37% in the year ending 30 June 2014; the proportion who defined themselves as Asian fell one percentage point over the same period, from 28% to 27%. For those who defined themselves as Black at the time of search, the proportion fell from 15% to 14%, and the proportion who defined themselves as Chinese or Other remained at 9% over the 2 years. Lastly, for those defined as Mixed, the proportion was 3% in both years.
5.3 Examinations under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000
A total of 40,663 persons were stopped at ports in the year ending 30 June 2014 in Great Britain under this power, a fall of 26% on the previous year. Of these, 38,764 (95%) were held for under an hour with the remaining persons held for over an hour. The proportion held for under an hour was one percentage point lower than the previous year.
Of those examined in the year ending 30 June 2014, a relatively high proportion of persons did not self-define their ethnicity at the time of search (7%); therefore proportions by ethnicity presented here exclude these persons. Of those that did self-define their ethnicity, 44% were White, 23% were Asian, 19% were Chinese or Other, 9% were Black and 6% were of Mixed ethnicity. While proportions who self-defined as White or Mixed both rose in the year ending 30 June 2014 (by 2 percentage points and one percentage point respectively), falls were seen for those who self-defined as Black or Chinese or Other (both down one percentage point) and Asian (down 2 percentage points).
In total, 500 persons were detained during a Schedule 7 examination in the year ending 30 June 2014, down 23% from 650 in the previous year. Excluding persons who did not self-define their ethnicity, the largest proportion of those detained self-defined their ethnicity as Asian (36%) followed by Chinese or Other (25%) and then Black (21%). Proportions of those detained who were White and Mixed were lower, at 11% and 7% respectively. The most notable changes in proportions in the years ending 30 June 2013 and 30 June 2014 were those self-defining as White (up 2 percentage points), Mixed (up 2 percentage points) and Black (down 2 percentage points).
The total number of Schedule 7 examinations can be seen in the context of 110.1 million arrivals in the UK in the year ending 30 June 2014. Assuming a similar number of departures through UK ports, this gives a proportion of approximately 0.02% (or 2 persons searched out of every 10,000 persons passing through UK ports in the year ending 30 June 2014).
5.4 Data quality and interpreting the figures
Ethnicities of search recipients reported under sections 43, 47A and Schedule 7 are self-defined, and therefore may differ from the actual ethnicities of persons searched in a small number cases.
6. Revisions analysis
This section gives some general information about data revisions between releases. Where major changes are made, they are presented in the form of a summary table.
6.1 Arrests and outcomes
As data for the arrests and outcomes section are drawn from a live system, most of the differences between releases are a result of case progression over time. For example, persons bailed to return pending further investigation and those awaiting trial for the most recent quarter show big falls between the releases due to completion of investigations/trials, which in turn, result in increases in persons charged or released without charge, as well as convictions and other court outcomes.
On occasion changes in classifications of offences can cause larger revisions and where these occur they are presented in this section in the form of a table. No such changes occurred for this release.
6.2 Court proceedings
Figures presented in this section are based on completed cases; therefore revisions are not expected between releases, unless a conviction is quashed as a result of an appeal. No sentences have been quashed in recent years and therefore no recent revisions to this section have been made between releases.
6.3 Terrorist and extremist prisoners
Prison population figures presented in this release are based on populations at specific dates which are not expected to change retrospectively. There have been no recent revisions to this section between releases.
6.4 Stops and searches
Stop and search data are drawn from administrative systems held by the police; therefore on occasion revisions may be made where search outcomes are concluded late for example. No recent revisions have been made to this section between releases.