Review of the Year 2017: December - Shock after Sheffield terror arrests and The Star’s Make It Better campaign helps city branch of NSPCC raise £30,000

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Residents of South Yorkshire were in shock this month when four men, from Sheffield and Chesterfield, were arrested during a series of dawn raids on suspicion of terrorist activity.

Four homes were raided in total, on December 19, along with Fatima Community Centre and a mosque in Burngreave, with a controlled explosion carried out at one of the addresses.

All four men were held on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The raids were carried out by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, which said the arrests were ‘intelligence led and pre-planned as part of an ongoing investigation’ alongside MI5.

The raids were carried out as part of a plan to thwart a suspected Islamist terror plot. South Yorkshire Police said the force has a ‘commitment to find and tackle those who want to cause harm.’

Additional armed police were out patrolling the streets of South Yorkshire following the raids, and a spokesman for the terrorism unit asked that people remain alert but not alarmed, saying they were grateful for the assistance and understanding of people locally.

Also this month, after four months and 20,000 words, The Star’s Make It Better campaign came to a close, after helping Sheffield’s NSPCC to reach its goal of £30,000 to help raise awareness of child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation.

The campaign’s success means every year seven pupil in the city will be able to watch the NSPCC’s ‘It’s Not Okay’ play and attend its workshop next year, as part of the charity’s work in schools, which aims to educate children about the dangers of CSE and CSA.