Police have issued an appeal to the friends and family of ‘aspiring terrorists’ to come forward.

In the wake of the murder of journalist James Foley, apparently at the hands of a British man, police in London are asking for anyone who has suspicions that their loved one could be ‘radicalised’ to help them.

So far this year there have been five times as many arrests than last year for offences relating to individuals plotting terror, planning to go for terrorist training and fundraising for associated groups.

National Policing Leader for Counter Terrorism, AC Mark Rowley, released a statement today.

He said: “We are appealing to the public, family members and friends to help identify aspiring terrorists; they may be about to travel abroad, have just returned or be showing signs of becoming radicalised.

“Police activity has been escalating for many months now.

“The biggest growth in Syrian related investigations has occurred in London and the West Midlands.”

AC Rowley added that the challenge to police has grown ‘significantly’ since nearly half of Syria travellers of concern were not known as terrorist risks previously.

The Met Police have also revealed that hate crime is increasing across the capital ‘as a direct result of the events occurring overseas’.

“In the same way there is a danger that some extremists use the revulsion felt by many towards the Islamic State to justify attacking Muslim people or places of worship,” Ac Rowley added.

“We need all need community and religious leaders to continue to speak out against warped narratives and we need everyone to ensure that public debate does not give oxygen to the terrorists by giving them the publicity they seek.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact police on the Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321.

All calls will be treated with the strictest confidence.