Three women and two men have been charged with Syria-related terrorism offences Getty

Three women and two men have been charged with terrorism offences after police raids of addresses in the West Midlands area.

The five people from Walsall stand accused of preparing to travel to engage in terrorism and helping others to travel, according to a BBC report.

They are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 16 June.

Three of the group were arrested last week, while the others were held in February.

Those facing charges are 21-year-old Alex Nash and his wife Yousman, 20, together with Ayman Shaukat, 27, who were all arrested on 9 June.

34-year-old Lorna Moor and Kerry Thomason, 23, were detained in February and were subsequently released on bail.

Vehicles and electronic equipment are being removed for forensic analysis.

Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, head of investigations for West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "This morning officers from West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit attended three addresses and arrested four people in relation to Syria-related terrorism offences.

"All four people are currently in custody and their houses are subject to searches by specialist forensic officers.

"I want to stress that this was a pre-planned investigation and there is no immediate threat to public safety."

The latest arrests come as reports show that about 400 British-based extremists have gone to Syria over the last two years – with around 50% returning to the UK, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Government ministers were informed that about 250 Britons who went to train and fight in Syria are now back in Britain - with the war zone described by one security official as a "magnet" for Islamic jihadist activity.

In the month of January, there were 16 people detained on suspicion of terror offences relating to Syria in comparison to 24 arrests for the whole of 2014.