White people more likely to be arrested over UK terrorism than any other group

An undate combo handout photo made available by Counter Terrorism Policing North East (CTP NE) showing Michal Szewczuk (L) and Oskar Dunn-Koczorowsk (R) who were part of a group called the Sonnenkrieg Division and encouraged an attack on Prince Harry for marrying a woman of mixed race, have been jailed for terrorism offences. Counter Terrorism Policing North East report on 18 June 2019 that Michal Szewczuk and Oskar Dunn-Koczorowsk received prison sentences following an extreme right wing operation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East. Michal Szewczuk from Leeds was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison and Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski from London was sentenced to 18 months. At an earlier hearing, Michal Szewczuk pleaded guilty to two counts under Section 1 (Encouraging Terrorism) and five counts under Section 58 (possession of material likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of Terrorism) of the Terrorism Act 2006. Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski pleaded guilty to two counts under Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is the Head of CTP NE and said: ???Dunn-Koczorowski and Szewczuk clearly see themselves as superior to the majority of society and they feel there duty is to express their beliefs, in turn teaching others. ???The considerable amount of material they have posted on social media channels not only reflects their extremist beliefs but was intended to encourage others to carry out despicable acts. The defendants appeared by video link from Her Majesty's Prison (HMP) Belmarsh, in south-east London. EPA/CTP NE / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES epa07655942
Michal Szewczuk (L) and Oskar Dunn-Koczorowsk (R) were part of a group called the Sonnenkrieg Division and encouraged a terror attack on Prince Harry for marrying a woman of mixed race (Picture: EPA )

More white people were arrested over terror-related activity in Britain than any other ethnicity in 2019 – for the second year running.

Of the 280 people arrested, 42% – 117 – were white, compared to 111 Asians, 21 black people and 11 recorded as ‘other’.

The figures follow increasing concerns around far-right terror in the UK, with the number of prisoners classed as right-wing extremists behind bars for terrorism offences almost doubling in two years.

According to statistics published by the Home Office today, more white people were also charged and convicted than any other ethnic appearance recorded by arresting officers. The data also suggests 71% of arrestees considered themselves to be British or British dual nationality.

Figure 2.6: Proportion of persons arrested for terrorist-related activity by ethnic appearance1,2, year ending 31 December 2018 and 31 December 2019, compared with total proportions since 11 September 2001
The number of terror arrests by ethnic appearance (Picture: Home Office)
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout file photo issued by West Midlands Police of Darren Fletcher (left) who admitted being a member of National Action, posing with Adam Thomas and his partner Claudia Patatas, at their home in Waltham Gardens, Banbury, Oxfordshire. Thomas, 22, and Patatas, 38, have been found guilty of being members of the extreme right-wing organisation National Action, which was banned in 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday November 12, 2018. See PA story COURTS FarRight. Photo credit should read: West Midlands Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
(From left to right) Darren Fletcher, Adam Thomas and Claudia Patatas were found guilty of being members of right-wing organisation National Action (Picture: PA)
Undated handout file photo issued by West Midlands Police of Adam Thomas posing with his new-born baby, whilst wearing the hooded white robes of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Thomas, 22, and his partner Claudia Patatas, 38, have been found guilty of being members of the extreme right-wing organisation National Action, which was banned in 2016. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday November 12, 2018. See PA story COURTS FarRight. Photo credit should read: West Midlands Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Adam Thomas (also above) posing with his new-born baby whilst wearing the hooded white robes of the Ku Klux Klan (Picture: PA)

The Home Office document explains that there were were falls in the number of arrests across all ethnic groups, apart from those of Asian ethnic appearance, which increased by 26% on the previous year (from 88 to 111).

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It explained: ‘The proportion of white people arrested exceeded the proportion of Asian people arrested for the second consecutive year, having not done previously since 2004.’

The data means that between 9/11 and the end of last year, 4,682 people were arrested in Britain over terror-related activity. 1,865 were Asian, 1,464 white, 747 ‘other’, 572 black and 34 unknown. 929 of that number were eventually convicted.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘These statistics demonstrate just part of the work the police and intelligence agencies do every day to keep us safe.

‘It’s important they have the right tools to do so, which is why we passed emergency legislation ending the automatic early release of terrorist offenders without review and increased funding for CT policing by £90m this year.

Neo-Nazi group System Resistance Network have been proscribed as a terror group
Neo-Nazi group System Resistance Network have been proscribed as a terror group

‘We are also introducing tougher sentences for the most dangerous terrorists and will strengthen licencing regimes to better manage those that are released.’

Of the 231 people in custody for terror related offences last year, 41 were categorised as holding extreme right-wing ideology. This shot up from just a handful of cases five years ago (four in 2014) to 21 for the same period in 2017 and 28 in 2018.

But the ‘vast majority’, 77% (177), were classed as holding Islamist-extremist views – a number that has remained largely the same as last year.

The figures come after MPs backed a ban on membership of more right-wing groups – Sonnenkrieg Division and System Resistance Network – as terrorist organisations. The Home Office also faced calls to ban ‘the world’s most far-right “terror” group’ this week.

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Last month a proscription order was issued which makes joining Sonnenkrieg Division illegal in the UK. The law also recognises System Resistance Network as an alias of the already banned neo-Nazi group National Action.

Anyone found to be a member of, or offering support to, the groups could now face up to 10 years in jail.

Three terror-related offenders in the last year were handed a life sentence, down from six in the previous year, but the number of long-term sentences of more than 10 years rose slightly.

Nick Lowles, the Chief Executive of HOPE not Hate, said: ‘The Home Office figures for last year again show a larger proportion of “white” arrestees for terror related offences than other ethnic groups.

‘Indisputably, there is an increase in far-right terror in this country but it is difficult to dig beneath these figures.

‘It is likely that some of the arrested people identified as ‘white’ would have been involved in Islamist related activity.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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