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Sir Peter Fahy: We are bothered about Syria

A centre aimed at taking aid to Syria has opened in Manchester today.

It is being supported by the police and city council, and aims at providing an alternative to travelling to Syria to help or fight.

It is believed that twin sisters Salma and Zahra Halane, from Manchester, left home last month in order to travel to the war-torn country.

When asked if he thought the Syria Relief centre could have helped stop the girls fleeing the country in order to help fight, Sir Peter Fahy said it could have.

He said: "Sometimes, some people in the Muslim community have felt we aren't bothered about Syria. But that's not the case. I think we're all bothered about Syria."

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Syria aid centre opens in Manchester to deter fighters

Volunteers at the Syria Relief aid centre Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Today marks the launch of an initiative for volunteers to help humanitarian aid in Syria, to deter young men and women from going to fight in the war ravaged country.

Volunteers at the Syria Relief aid centre Credit: ITV Granada Reports

The charity Syria Relief in Manchester is being backed by Greater Manchester Police and the council, with the opening of a new volunteering facility where humanitarian aid can be donated and packaged before being sent to Syria.

Volunteers at the Syria Relief aid centre Credit: ITV Granada Reports

It comes after a number of young men and women have left their homes in the city to get involved in the troubled country.

Syria aid centre to open

People living under a siege in Yarmouk camp Credit: PA Images

A new centre's to open in Manchester later to take aid to Syria. People will be able to bring donations of food, clothes and blankets and to get involved in packing them onto containers.

It's being supported by the police, the city council and Syria Relief to provide an alternative to travelling to Syria to help.

GMP Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “We know there are many people in Greater Manchester and nationally who want to support the millions of people who are caught up in the Syrian conflict.

"Anyone who does travel there is putting themselves in considerable danger and that is why this volunteering facility is so valuable right here in Greater Manchester, giving people the opportunity to donate and assist with the humanitarian effort without putting themselves and others in danger."

Chairman of Syria Relief, Dr Basil Hatahet said: "While the news currently focuses on the brutality of the war and the emergence of fundamentalist groups in Syria, the ever-worsening humanitarian situation and human suffering continue.

“This joint initiative between Syria Relief, Manchester City Council and Great Manchester Police invites the citizens of Manchester to help alleviate the suffering by giving their time and efforts, as well as their financial and in-kind donation in a safe and practical way."

Police warning over joining Syria conflict

A plea has gone out to Muslim families in our region to stop their sons travelling to Syria to fight in the civil war.

Counter terrorism officers say more and more young men are not only going to fight - they're also becoming radicalised and then arrested when they return home.

As a nationwide campaign started today, our correspondent Mel Barham reports on appeals being carried out by Greater Manchester Police.

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Police warning to young people over dangers of travelling to Syria

Greater Manchester Police join national campaign to warn young people of the dangers of travelling to Syria. Credit: PA

Greater Manchester Police has joined a national campaign to warn young people of the dangers of travelling to Syria.

An event taking place today, hosted by Greater Manchester Police, will aim to reach out to Muslim women in particular to prevent their loved ones joining the conflict.

The number of people travelling to Syria from the UK is judged to be in the low hundreds and information that is available shows that the number of Syria-related arrests has increased substantially in 2014.

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British parents 'already' contacted police over Syria

There are "already many parents" who have contacted the police to stop their children fighting in the Syrian civil war, Dr Usama Hasan told Daybreak.

Dr Hasan, senior researcher at the anti-extremism organisation Quilliam Foundation, said the national awareness campaign to encourage parents to stop their child from fighting alongside jihadis in Syria was "very important" and urged Britain to be "open" about their citizens joining the war.

"Britain should be open about this issue ... hundreds of our fellow citizens are going to these places and let's understand the issue by trying to see what we can do about it," he added.

Three held in terror probe freed

Three people from Manchester arrested on suspicion of terror offences linked to Syria have been released without charge, police said.

They were arrested on Tuesday by counter-terrorism officers on suspicion of being involved in travelling to or supporting fighting in war zones.

Two men aged 24 and 18, both from Levenshulme, and a 21-year-old woman from Trafford were held in Manchester.

Jamshed Javeed, 29, was charged with the intention of assisting others to commit acts of terrorism and engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention.

Javeed, from Levenshulme, appeared at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court yesterday and a preliminary date of April 4 at the Old Bailey was set for his next appearance.

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