Daily Express : One In 14 Terror Suspects Convicted

Sunday, May 17, 2009


By Gabriel Milland | May 14, 2009

JUST one in 14 people arrested for alleged terror offences is convicted, official figures showed yesterday.

Government data showed that less than a third of those arrested are even charged with a terror-related offence.

The figures are a major embarrassment to ministers who fought a long battle to increase the time terror suspects can be held without charge. Currently, suspects can be held for up to 42 days.

They also come just weeks after raids on a supposed major terror plot in Liverpool and Manchester resulted in no one being charged.

Shadow security minister Baroness Neville-Jones said courts should get the right to use phone-tap intelligence as evidence. She said: “The Government needs to allow intercept evidence in court so real terrorists don’t get let off for lack of admissable evidence.”

The figures showed almost 230 people are arrested for ­terrorism offences every year. Between September 11 2001, and March 31 2008, there were 1,471 arrests for terrorism. Of these, 521 resulted in a charge, with 222 people charged with terror offences, and 118 charged with terror-related offences.

Of the 340 people charged in relation to terrorism, 196 were eventually convicted – 102 for terrorism offences and 94 for terrorism-related offences.

So of 1,471 arrests, 102 were convicted under terror laws.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said it was “worrying” that “the overwhelming majority” of those arrested were not guilty of any charge.