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Terrorism Prosecutions

Volume 648: debated on Thursday 1 November 2018

6. What steps the Crown Prosecution Service is taking to increase the rate of successful prosecutions for terrorism. (907426)

The counter-terrorism division of the Crown Prosecution Service is one of the great successes of that organisation. It has an excellent reputation both at home and abroad. In its recent work, it has doubled in size and doubled the number of convictions. The CPS works closely with police and partners to help to implement the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy.

I thank the Attorney General for that answer. As a member of the Home Affairs Committee, I understand that there are 500 live operations concerning 3,000 individuals of interest and a further 20,000 individuals who have been investigated under terrorism-related incidents. Can the Attorney General clarify and confirm that the CPS has adequate resources and the expertise to deal with these matters effectively?

I meet the Director of Public Prosecutions regularly, and counter-terrorism is one of those things upon which we focus most closely. I have also met the head of the terrorism division, Deborah Walsh. This is a well-led, well-resourced division. Its prosecution and conviction rate is of the highest in the CPS. I am confident that it has the resources, and if it needs more, we will find them. This is a national priority.

To address terrorism and paramilitarism, we have to remove the money. What is being done to remove the financial criminal empires that finance terrorism and paramilitarism?

The Crown Prosecution Service this year recovered between £80 million and £100 million of illicit assets. Organised crime and the illicit financing of terrorism is one of the Government’s priorities. It is being co-ordinated by the National Crime Agency. It is being met with a range of new tools, including unexplained wealth orders, which we will be using as hard and as impactfully as we can in future months.