U.K. arrests on terrorism up 61 percent

Dec. 13, 2012 at 1:19 PM

LONDON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Of the 228 people arrested on terrorism charges in Great Britain in the year prior to June 30, 49 of them were charged with an offense, U.K. officials said.

The British Home Office said the number of people arrested on terrorism charges in England, Wales and Scotland for the year ending June 30 increased 61 percent to 228 compared to the same period the previous year.

"Of those arrested, 49 persons were charged for a terrorism-related offense," the Home Office stated. "Of those arrested and charged for a terrorism-related offense, 20 were convicted of a terrorism-related offense, with a further 25 awaiting prosecution."

The BBC reports there were 22 people arrested in front of the U.S. Embassy in London last year on suspicion of belonging to the outlawed Muslims Against Crusades organization.

Heightened security for the Summer Olympics in London may have led to the increase in the number of arrests as well.

The BBC reports the arrests that resulted in formal charges is about average for the period since the al-Qaida attacks on the United States in 2001.

Authority given by the government to police to search people under certain circumstances without any evidence of terrorism-related activity hasn't been used since it went into force early last year.

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