A new counter terrorism safeguarding website has been launched by Counter Terrorism Policing, offering advice, guidance and support to people concerned about relatives being radicalised.It comes as police warn the Covid lockdown is creating a "perfect storm" for vulnerable young people to be radicalised online.Watch @krisjepson's report here:
Parents, friends and families can now get specialist support to stop their loved ones being radicalised and drawn into extreme groups. The new website Act Early, provides dedicated safeguarding pages and advice line from the specialists at Counter Terrorism Policing.The website has been produced because only 2 per cent of referrals to the government's anti-radicalisation programme, Prevent, come from family and friends. Police say they are the best placed people to step in at an early stage of radicalisation.
In the 18 months leading up to 30 June this year, 17 children were arrested in relation to terrorism offences.
Some were as young as 14 years old, while nearly all will have been radicalised entirely online. In the same time period, more than 1,500 children under the age of 15 were helped by the Prevent programme to choose a different path, away from hatred and violence.
Experts in extremist groups say the current lockdown situation is enabling recruiters to access young people in order to radicalise them.
One Teesside based group impacted by the pandemic is Media Cultured.
Run by Amjid Khazir from Middlesbrough, the organisation delivers education and training to young people, businesses and teachers to help counter racism and extremism.
Counter Terrorism Policing said if you are worried that someone you know is being radicalised, visit www.actearly.uk or call the national Police Prevent Advice Line on 0800 011 3764.