165 Syria terror related arrests were made in 2014
Police in Britain arrested six times more people linked to the conflict in Syria under terrorism legislation last year than in 2013.
The total arrests for the whole of 2014 stood at 165 compared to 25 for 2013.
Officials estimate that more than 500 Britons have travelled to fight with Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq and fear that some could return and launch attacks at home.
Britain’s official terrorism threat level currently stands at severe, the second-highest level, meaning that an attack is thought to be highly likely. Police say they foiled up to five suspected plots last year.
Parliament is debating new legislation being rushed through by Prime Minister David Cameron’s government which would allow the passports of people suspected of travelling abroad to fight with groups like IS to be confiscated.
It would also allow suspects to be banned temporarily from Britain.
“Last year’s arrest figures demonstrate a considerable increase in the volume, range and pace of counter-terrorism activity in the UK,” said Helen Ball, the senior national co-ordinator for counter-terrorism policing.
“We have been running exceptionally high numbers of investigations, the likes of which we have not seen for many years,” she added.