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Terrorism and the law

Following the terrorist attacks of 7 July 2005 in London, everyone in Britain is acutely aware of the threat of terrorism in our country.

One way we're tackling this threat is by introducing new, stronger laws against terrorism. Learn more about those laws by following the links below.

Explore this section:

  • Terrorism Act 2000

    The main piece of anti-terrorism legislation introduced following the increased threat from international terrorism

  • Checks on terrorism laws

    Anti-terrorism laws can be controversial so they are independently reviewed to ensure they are appropriate

Fact & figures

The UK police terrorism arrest statistics (excluding Northern Ireland) from 11 September 2001 – 31 March 2007 show 1228 arrests were made:

  • 1165 arrests under the Terrorism Act 2000
  • 63 arrests under legislation other than the Terrorism Act, where the investigation was conducted as a terrorist investigation

Of the total 1228 arrested: 

  • 132 charged with terrorism legislation offences only
  • 109 charged with terrorism legislation offences and other criminal offences
  • 195 charged under other legislation including murder, grievous bodily harm, firearms, explosives offences, fraud, false documents
  • 76 handed over to immigration authorities
  • 15 on police bail awaiting charging decisions
  • 1 warrant issued for arrest
  • 12 cautioned
  • 1 dealt with under youth offending procedures
  • 11 dealt with under mental health legislation
  • 4 transferred to Police Service of Northern Ireland custody
  • 2 remanded in custody awaiting extradition proceedings
  • 669 released without charge
  • 1 awaiting further investigation

Of those charged:

  • 41 Terrorism Act convictions to date
  • 183 convicted under other legislation: murder and explosives offences (including conspiracies), grievous bodily harm, firearms offences, fraud, false documents offences, etc (this includes the 12 cautions detailed above)
  • 114 at or awaiting trial

(Source: These statistics are compiled from police records by the offices of the National Coordinator for Terrorist Investigations. They are subject to change as cases go through the system.)

See also

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Other Home Office sites

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