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  1. ITV Report

10-year-old boy's 'terrorist house' spelling error sees him interviewed by police

File image. Teachers are requested by law to contact the authorities if they suspect a pupil is linked to terrorist activity. Credit: Press Association Images

A 10-year-old primary school boy has been interviewed by police after mistakenly writing he lived in a "terrorist house" instead of a "terraced house", the BBC has reported.

Teachers did not realise it was a spelling error and reported the matter to police.

Counter terrorism legislation brought in last year demands teachers alert the authorities if they suspect a pupil's connection to any terrorist behaviour or radicalisation.

The boy, who is Muslim, was interviewed early last month and a laptop at his family home in Accrington, Lancashire, was also examined.

A cousin of the boy told the BBC his relatives had initially thought the matter was a joke.

You can imagine it happening to a 30-year-old man, but not to a young child.

If the teacher had any concerns it should have been about his spelling. They shouldn't be putting a child through this.

He's now scared of writing, using his imagination.

– Cousin, whose name was withheld

Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, told the BBC there had been dozens of similar cases emerging at schools across the country after the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 was introduced.

"There are huge concerns that individuals going about their daily life are being seen through the lens of security and are being seen as potential terrorists rather than students," he said.

A statement by Lancashire police and the local council, reported by the Guardian, said it was “untrue to suggest that this situation was brought about by a simple spelling mistake. The school and the police have acted responsibly and proportionately in looking into a number of potential concerns using a low-key, local approach.”

Anti-terrorism police were not called in during the visit on 7 December.

The school told the BBC it was unable to comment because it was investigating a complaint over the incident.