1. ITV Report

Muslim communities lack trust in police

Photo: PA

New research has found a lack of trust in police among Muslim communities leaves parents less likely to report children travelling to Syria.

Researchers from Birmingham City and the University of Birmingham conducted focus groups with Muslim parents to explore their views of the current counter-terrorism policing strategy following the rising middle-east crisis.

The data from the research study has found that Muslim community members are increasingly finding the partnership with the police service problematic.

The parents we spoke to were worried about the lack of support for Muslim families and they feared that anyone who had gone to Syria would be arrested and have their citizenship removed if they spoke out.

– Dr Awan, Associate Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University.

The study also showed many parents found it difficult handling moral dilemmas which would see them alienating their own children by passing information about them on to the police.

Feedback among those taking part included:

I don’t trust the police so I would not tell them - I would not call them because the police might just come knocking on my door and arrest my other children.

– Focus group participant

Another participant added:

I would not report them to the police, because that’s not what parents do. We need to educate them not to travel there in the first place. If I told the police they would then arrest me and my children.

– Focus group participant

Researchers found that parents feel they are likely to be held to account for their children's actions for which they are powerless to control, adding that historical cases of police mistrust were also a factor in their reluctance to report cases of children travelling to war torn parts of the world.