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UK police chiefs release Syrian travel warning

The Association of Police Chiefs has released a document giving information and advice on travel to Syria. This comes on the day a national campaign is launched to stop would-be British terrorists visiting Syria.

The MET police document outlined terrorism risks, what could happen to you if you visited Syria, what the UK government is doing to help Syrians and how you help the Syrian people.

Some of the points outlined in the document are as follows:

  • Families may face ransom demands.
  • Assad uses the presence of UK nationals in Syria to support claims that his regime is fighting foreign terrorists.
  • If you travel for humanitarian reasons, you are very likely to come into contact with terrorist groups and you may get drawn into their activities.

Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing Helen Ball will be hosting a live webchat on the MET website at 2pm.

Number of young people travelling to Syria 'worrying'

Police have described the number of people from Wales travelling to Syria as "worrying".

Assistant Chief Constable Liane James, from South Wales Police, told ITV News: "We need to safeguard the young children of Wales."

The number of people travelling to Syria from the UK is judged to be in the low hundreds. Today a campaign has been launched to make people aware of the dangers and let them know how they can help safely and legally.


SW Police: "We are increasingly concerned about the numbers of young people intending to travel to Syria"

A national campaign has been launched today to highlight the dangers young people face when travelling to Syria.

Events are being held across the UK to raise awareness, and provide advice on how people can support the Syrian cause both safely and legally.

South Wales Police are supporting the campaign.

We are increasingly concerned about the numbers of young people who have or are intending to travel to Syria. We want to ensure that people, particularly women, who are concerned about their loved ones are given enough information about what they can do to prevent this from happening.

We want to increase their confidence in the police and partners to encourage them to come forward so that we can intervene and help.

This is not about criminalising people it is about preventing tragedies. We want to inform those who wish to genuinely help the Syrian cause how they can do so safely and legally.

– Liane James, Assistant Chief Constable, South Wales Police
  1. National

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.

Advice published for young people travelling to Syria

Troops from the Islamic Front clash with soldiers of Assad regime Credit: PA

A national campaign has been launched today aimed at protecting our young people from the dangers of travelling to Syria.

Women in particular are being encouraged to reach out to other women who are concerned about youngsters who may be planning to travel to the country.

Similar events are being held across the whole of the UK, in an effort to reach out to as many women from the affected communities as possible.

It has been recognised that whilst some young people want to travel to fight, many others want to offer aid and support to the Syrian people.

One of the key messages the campaign aims to get across, is the importance of letting people who genuinely want to help the Syrian cause know how they can do so both safely and legally.

The advice is to donate to registered charities.

The number of people travelling to Syria from the UK is judged to be in the low hundreds.

Information available shows the number of Syria-related arrests has increased substantially in 2014.


Welsh MP sees plight of Syrian refugees first hand

Wrexham MP and Shadow Middle East Minister Ian Lucas has just returned from Lebanon where he's witnessed first hand the plight of people fleeing the civil war in Syria. He'll be speaking about his experiences in this week's Sharp End.

You can hear more about the situation in Lebanon and what Ian Lucas experienced at 1035pm on ITV Cymru Wales. Below are some of the photos he took during his visit.

Snow at Syrian refugee camp, Lebanon Credit: Ian Lucas MP

The MPs were surprised to see snow around the camps. Wintry weather is adding to the difficulties faced by people fleeing the fighting in Syria.

Makeshift conditions at one camp, Lebanon Credit: Ian Lucas MP

The refugee camps aren't official and lack basic amenities.

Syrian children, Lebanon Credit: Ian Lucas MP
A Syrian family in a refugee camp, Lebanon Credit: Ian Lucas MP

The Welsh aid worker at the centre of Syria's humanitarian crisis

Since the beginning of Syria's civil war two years ago, over two million refugees have fled the war-torn country.

Over a million of those are estimated to have crossed the border to neighbouring Lebanon.

Our reporter Gwyn Loader has been there to meet those displaced because of the fighting, and to meet the Welsh aid worker at the centre of the humanitarian crisis.

You can see more of Gwyn's visit to Lebanon on Y Byd ar Bedwar tonight at 10 o'clock on S4C

Welsh ambulances being taken to Syria

Omar Arabi is one of the volunteer drivers setting off for Syria tonight.

A team from Wales is preparing to set off on a 3,000-mile journey, to deliver ambulances to warn-torn Syria.

A group of Syrian people living in Cardiff raised £45,000 in just six weeks to buy two ambulances.

Welsh Solidarity for Syria has lead the fundraising, with the help of Oxfam Cymru.
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