Terrorism - A Case of Smoke Without Fire?

Newspapers this week reported the following story:

'The number of people arrested over terrorism-related offences in Britain has risen by 54% to 400 in one of the most intense periods for attacks in recent history. The Home Office said the increase in the year to September was due partly to the 64 arrests made after the attacks in London and Manchester, bringing the total to the highest number since records began in 2001.'

But what happens to those suspects when the TV camera crews have departed, and the criminal justice system takes over?

The figures are highly revealing, out of the 379-people arrested in the year to June 2017, the following outcomes were recorded:

Charged with an offence - 123 (or 32%)

Released without charge - 189 (or 49.9%)

Alternative action - 11 (cautions etc.)

Released on bail - 54

Pending decision - 2

Of the 123 charged, 18 were charged with non-terrorism related offences. In relation to some of these defendants, the proceedings were later dropped or resulted in acquittal.


What does this tell us?

Mostly it reminds us that an arrest does not equate to guilt. In the last year alone half of those arrested were released with no further action.

Terrorism offences are a part of our general criminal law but do not be mistaken in thinking that anyone but a specialist with experience in this area is equipped to defend you.

Criminal lawyers practising in this field require the highest levels of skill and knowledge to navigate not only complex legal principles, but also the political and other aspects of these incredibly sensitive cases.


How we can assist

You only get one opportunity to have specialist representation at a police station or court, if you are facing terrorism-related accusations then contact us immediately and find out how we can influence the outcome.

Contact Catherine Mescall on 0208 563 9797 or