Terrorism – A Case of Smoke Without Fire?

Terrorism - A Case of Smoke Without Fire?

Newspapers this week reported the following story:

‘The number of people arrested over terrorism-related offences in Britain has risen by 54% to 400 in one of the most intense periods for attacks in recent history. The Home Office said the increase in the year to September was due partly to the 64 arrests made after the attacks in London and Manchester, bringing the total to the highest number since records began in 2001.’

But what happens to those suspects when the TV camera crews have departed, and the criminal justice system takes over?

The figures are highly revealing, out of the 379-people arrested in the year to June 2017, the following outcomes were recorded:

Charged with an offence – 123 (or 32%)

Released without charge – 189 (or 49.9%)

Alternative action – 11 (cautions etc.)

Released on bail – 54

Pending decision – 2

Of the 123 charged, 18 were charged with non-terrorism related offences. In relation to some of these defendants, the proceedings were later dropped or resulted in acquittal.

What does this tell us?

Mostly it reminds us that an arrest does not equate to guilt. In the last year alone half of those arrested were released with no further action.

Terrorism offences are a part of our general criminal law but do not be mistaken in thinking that anyone but a specialist with experience in this area is equipped to defend you.

Criminal lawyers practising in this field require the highest levels of skill and knowledge to navigate not only complex legal principles, but also the political and other aspects of these incredibly sensitive cases.

Rod Hayler, Director and senior advocate at Old Bailey Solicitors, was instructed by a client in relation to the 21st July 2005 attempt bombings in London.  The case ran for three years and provided Rod with an invaluable insight into the complexity of such cases.  Old Bailey Solicitors’ Sussex office is situated close to Gatwick Airport and, as such, has led to numerous cases involving those arrested under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act.  Again, these cases have provided us with insight into the methods used by the police in the fight against terrorism which can, quite frequently, lead to innocent people facing arrest and detention.  

How we can assist

You only get one opportunity to have specialist representation at a police station or court, if you are facing terrorism-related accusations then contact us immediately and find out how we can influence the outcome.

Contact Rod Hayler at [email protected] or call us on 020 7846 4999

Rod Hayler

Rod Hayler

Rod has specialised in criminal defence work since 1998. He is a trial advocate of 17 years’ experience and, as a Higher Courts Advocate, he represents clients in Crown Courts and in the Court of Appeal.

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