Record number of young people arrested for terror offences

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London’s top counter-terrorism officer has warned that the Metropolitan Police is becoming “increasingly concerned” by the number of young people being radicalised by extremist ideologies.

It comes as Home Office figures reveal that 33 under-18s were arrested for terror offences in the year leading up to June 2022 – the largest number ever recorded – with the majority relating to far-right ideology.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, has called on the public to be “vigilant”, urging parents and carers to “get in touch and act early, in order to prevent their loved ones from going down a dangerous path towards radicalisation”.

He said: “We’re becoming increasingly concerned about the number of young people who are being drawn into extremist and terrorist activity. The work we do through Prevent, in close partnership with others, including the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), is vital in helping to steer those who are vulnerable away from the dangers of extremists and terrorism.”

On Wednesday, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced that he would be investing a further £725,000 in grassroots community groups in a bid to counter extremism and tackle the rise in hate crimes in the capital.

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