- A total of 36 woman terror suspects arrested in the year up to March
- In addition, more children were arrested by counter-terror police this year
- New figures show rise in terror arrests since the creation of ISIS
A record number of British women were arrested on suspicion of terrorism in the past year, official figures revealed today.
A total of 36 female terror suspects were held by the authorities during the 12 months up to the end of March, which is more than ever before.
There was also a rising number of children being arrested by counter-terror police, with 14 under-18s detained in the year 2015/16, up from just eight a year before.
Figures: This graph shows how more women (shown in dark purple) have been arrested on suspicion of terror offences in the past year
Overall, there were 255 terrorism-related arrests, a decrease of 15 per cent compared to the previous year when there were a record 301.
A Home Office report accompanying the data said: 'Although a fall on the previous year, the number of arrests in the year ending 31 March 2016 was still higher than most other recent years.'
A number of women have been convicted of offences relating to the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, with many either travelling to fight in the Middle East themselves or supporting their husbands who are out there.
Tareena Shakil was jailed in February after a court heard she fled her home in Birmingham with her toddler son in order to support the Caliphate, and was pictured posing with ISIS paraphernalia.
And last month Lorna Moore, a Muslim convert from an Ulster Protestant background, was convicted of plotting to join her jihadist husband in Syria with their three children.
Jailed: Tareena Shakil took her young son to ISIS territory after becoming obsessed with extremist ideology
Other female extremists to have joined ISIS have remained in the Middle East - for example, three East London schoolgirls who escaped to Syria last year are still believed to be living in the war zone.
Since the year ending March 2011, around the time of the Arab Spring, there has been a 'general upward trend' in the number of arrests for terrorism-related offences, the Home Office said.
Britain's official terror threat level for international terrorism currently stands at severe - indicating that an attack is seen as 'highly likely'.
Convert: Lorna Moore was found guilty of plotting to join her jihadist husband fighting in Syria
Earlier this year it was claimed that police and intelligence agencies have disrupted seven plots to attack the UK in the previous 18 months.
The 36 female suspects held means they accounted for one in seven arrests over the period.
All but two of the women arrested in the most recent year were considered to have links to international-related terrorism rather than domestic extremism, the Home Office report said.
The statistics appear to chime with fears of increasing numbers of women and teenagers being drawn into extremism.
Schoolgirls and young families are among those feared to have fled the UK to join ISIS.
Arrests in the international and 'domestic' categories both fell, down from 217 to 212 and from 32 to 10 respectively, while the Northern Ireland-related tally was up from three to six.
The overall fall in the number of arrests was driven by a dip in arrests of people from white ethnic groups, which was down by a quarter from 88 to 66, and black ethnic groups, which nearly halved from 49 to 25 arrests.
Arrests of those from Asian ethnic groups, which made up more than half of all arrests in the year ending in March, remained relatively stable, the report said.
Over three quarters of those held were British or had British dual nationality.
A third of the arrests - 86 - resulted in a charge, with 76 of those individuals charged with terrorism-related offences.