Police will visit mosques and work with communities across South Yorkshire this week in a bid to prevent extremism and raise awareness about the radicalisation of young people.
South Yorkshire Police have announced they are getting involved in National Prevent Policing Week, a week of action focused around reducing the risk of terrorism.
The week involves more than 500 police from across the UK taking part in a week of activity to ‘build support in preventing extremism’.
Police will undertake mosque engagement and safeguarding visits in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley where they will offering training to Imams around awareness in the communi
Police will also work with mothers at events across the region and take part in a training event at Rotherham’s integrated youth services.
South Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Ingrid Lee said: “Earlier this year saw the national threat level raised from substantial to severe, which suggests an attack is highly likely.
“This decision was made following events this year across Europe. It has therefore never been more important to deliver a consistent approach to preventing terrorism and safeguarding vulnerable individuals, which is what this Prevent initiative aims to do.
“The new Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 highlights the need for Prevent to be embedded into all aspects of policing, including patrol, neighbourhood and safeguarding functions.”
In partnership with local authorities, city centres across the region will be promoting the use of the prevent tragedies website for people who have concerns for their loved ones regarding radicalisation.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Local Policing, Chief Constable Simon Cole said:
“We can only reduce the threat we face from terrorism and domestic extremism if we all play a part in preventing young people from being radicalised. This is why local communities and families have a vital role to play in helping to prevent tragedies on our doorstep.
“It is reassuring to see that that people are putting their trust in the police and coming to us for advice and support, as well as from their family network”.
Detective Superintendent Mick Hunter is the Police Regional Prevent Coordinator for the North East. He 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.
“Everyone has a role to play in defeating terrorism.
“Communities and families are asked to contact their local police for advice and support about anyone they feel may be potentially vulnerable to being drawn into terrorist related activities including travelling abroad to conflict zones.
“Please contact your local police on 101. You can also visit the national Prevent Tragedies website for further advice and guidance www.preventtragedies.co.uk.”
The public can also call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321.
Anyone with information that could support police in identifying vulnerable individuals has been asked to call 101.