18% Of Islamist Terror Cases Linked To Birmingham and West Mids

6 March 2017, 09:08 | Updated: 6 March 2017, 14:32

Matt Ward West Midlands Counter Terror

The West Midlands has the highest number of terror arrests outside of London - 80% of those were in Birmingham.

Over the whole UK the number of Islamism-inspired terrorism offences has nearly doubled in the five years to the end of 2015, according to a new report.

The period from 1998 to 2015, studied in a report on Islamist terrorism on British soil, has also seen a surge in the number of women taking part in these crimes with offenders are getting younger and the bulk of the Islamism-inspired threat coming from home-grown terrorism.

It was found that 72% of Islamism-related offences (IROs) were carried out by UK nationals or people who held dual British nationality.

Report author Hannah Stuart, a fellow at The Henry Jackson Society who commissioned the study, believes it poses "particular challenges for the authorities''.

She said: "Our security services will be particularly concerned that the major threat continues to be home grown - and that females are playing an ever increasing role in terrorism. Such a high concentration of offenders in London and Birmingham will also focus the minds of policy makers when it comes to deciding where to target our counter-terrorism efforts.''

There were 269 individual offences and 264 convictions for Islamism-inspired terrorism offences as a result of arrests from 1998 involving 253 British or foreign nationals.

Among all the offenders, 72% counted London, the West Midlands or North West England as their home. No other region contained 10% of residences, the study found.

London was where 43% of terrorists lived when they were arrested for an IRO.

The second most common region was the West Midlands where 18% of offenders lived, and the bulk of these people came from Birmingham.

The third biggest hotspot was North West England with 10% of IROs.

The report comes as West Midlands Counter Terror Police launch a campaign to get more of us to report anything suspicious we see.

They say police and intelligence agencies have disrupted 13 terrorist attack plots on the UK in less than four years.

In 1 in 3 of the attacks prevented, information from members of the public has helped police.

The campaign is called “Make Nothing Happen” and focuses on the critical role the public can play in defeating terrorism. This is the first campaign under a new branding platform called ACT - Action Counters Terrorism. It urges the public to report suspicious activity to help police bring dangerous offenders to justice and prevent terror attacks in the UK and overseas.