Preventing people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism forms a key part of activity across the Humberside area today, on day three of National Counter Terrorism Awareness Week.
Terrorist groups continue to seek support for their cause, both at home and abroad. Enforcement alone is not an effective solution to this problem and it is vital that police work closely with partner agencies and communities to prevent radicalisation and protect vulnerable people.
The Prevent strategy forms an integral part of the national approach to dealing with terrorism in the UK. Where possible, Prevent seeks to protect those who may be more susceptible to negative influences, by identifying them early and offering appropriate advice and support. It also works with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation, to help make them more resistant to exploitation.
In addition to ongoing Prevent work across the force area, Prevent Officers and Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be taking part in a range of activities in support of the national awareness campaign. These include engagement events and workshops at colleges, universities, community centres and city centre sites. Briefings about Prevent and the Channel Project are also being delivered to youth groups, police officers, secondary school teachers, leaders of local religious groups and public sector organisations.
Police also remain deeply concerned about the numbers of young people travelling to Syria to join the conflict. Due to serious safety concerns, travel to Syria for any purpose is strongly discouraged by the UK authorities. Information about the risks, and how to offer safe and legal support through registered charities, will be distributed throughout the week.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Leaver said: “On a daily basis, Prevent officers work very hard with all sections of the community to strengthen their resilience to negative influences. This week we are stepping up our engagement activity further, to try and increase public awareness about the risks of radicalisation and what we can do to help.
“We are not looking to criminalise people, but to prevent unnecessary tragedies. Working alongside local authorities and partner agencies there is a great deal of support we can offer to individuals and families who are affected by these issues. We want to increase their confidence in the authorities and encourage them to come forward if they feel vulnerable, or are concerned about someone they know.”