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Arrests of UK terror suspects is now at a record high

By Hayden Smith

The number of suspected terrorists arrested in the UK has reached record levels, as police and security services mount an unprecedented response to the threat posed by Islamic State.

In the year to March, 299 people were detained for terror-related offences - an increase of 31% compared to the previous year, Home Office figures revealed.

It is the highest number since officials began collecting data in September 2001 and tops the previous peak of 284, which was recorded in 2005/6 in the wake of the July 7 bombings.

The rise was mainly driven by a flurry of arrests in the weeks after the official terror threat level was raised from substantial to severe in August last year, in response to the increasing influence of IS, also known as Isil. In the last three months of last year, 106 terror suspects were detained.

There were also sharp increases in the number of women and young adults being arrested by counter-terrorism police, while the proportion of those detained who consider themselves British has reached record levels.

Security Minister John Hayes said the figures emphasised the scale of the challenge for authorities to keep the public safe.

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