By Kathryn Snowdon

The “overriding threat” to the UK still comes from plots inspired by so-called Islamic State terrorists, police chiefs have said.

Senior officers insisted the danger from the far right is treated in the same way as any other “toxic ideology”, but added that the extreme right accounted for about 8% of those arrested for terrorism offences between June 2016 and May 2017.

These latest statistics come after it was revealed that far-right extremists account for a third of all referrals to the government’s anti-terror unit, Channel.

A man was arrested on Monday after a white van was driven into a crowd of Muslim worshippers leaving midnight prayers in Finsbury Park. One person died and nine were injured in the terror attack.

Senior officers have said the “overriding threat” stems from groups and individuals inspired by IS, also known as Daesh.

A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “Tackling the threat from extreme right wing ideology has long been a part of policing’s commitment to fighting extremism in all its forms.

“We are committed to tackling any and all ideologies which pose a threat to the public’s safety and security, and treat the threat from the far right in exactly the same way as any other toxic ideology used to spread mistrust and fear in our communities.

“However, the overriding threat to the UK remains from Daesh-inspired groups and individuals.

“That is borne out in the arrest figures, which show that between June 2016 and May 2017 the extreme right wing accounted for around 8% of those arrested for terrorism offences.”

Between June 1 last year and the end of May 402 arrests were recorded on a national terrorism database.

Of these, 57 (14%) were logged as domestic terrorism, which covers suspected activity with no link to either international or Northern Ireland related terrorism.

Out of these 57 arrests, 34 were recorded in the extreme right wing category.

Separate figures show almost a third of people supported through the government’s Channel anti-extremism programme in 2016/17 were given help as a result of far-right concerns.

The NPCC added: “We will continue to work closely with our partners to inform the public about the range of threats posed by all forms of extremism, and the role they can play in helping police.

“Anyone with concerns should contact their local force.”

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