ACT Early – ‘Real Stories’ Toolkit
In November 2020, Counter Terrorism Policing launched a new safeguarding website www.actearly.uk aimed at family and friends to encourage them to share concerns that a friend or loved one might be vulnerable to radicalisation. Studies have shown that the public are unsure of signs to look out for and who to turn to with concerns. The Act Early website aims to help fill this void, and, in doing so, increase Prevent referrals from family and friends into the police by increasing awareness, trust and understanding of the police’s safeguarding role.
In the year since its launch the website has gone from strength to strength , with new sections added, associated social media assets produced, leaflets developed into additional languages and more recently a successful digital partnership with Netmums to reach parents and raise awareness of online radicalization and how to protect their children.
Continuing to raise awareness of the Act Early campaign, we are now pleased to launch two new films that bring to life the powerful words of Micheal and Mustafa already highlighted on the ‘real stories’ section on the Act Early website.
Mustafa was a follower of multiple radical clerics and Micheal lost his brother to an extremist group and wishes he could have spotted the signs earlier. The films take their words and turn them into powerful animations that encourage those with concerns about someone they know and care about to visit www.actearly.uk for advice and support
A third film – telling the story of John is currently in the final stages of development and will be shared in late November. John felt like an outsider and when a friend invited him to an extreme right wing event, he went along. His words tell the story of how he was drawn down a dangerous path.
We would be grateful for your support in promoting Micheal and Mustafa’s stories (and later in November John’s film), in the hope that they encourage more concerned families and friends to share their concerns at an early stage with concerns about a loved one vulnerable to radicalisation.
The films are hosted on the real stories section of the act early website.
How can I help?
Below you will find:
- Links to the two films
- Social media assets
We would be grateful for your support in promoting these new films and associated assets on your own social media channels, engagement events or other opportunities where they can help promote discussion and encourage people to reach out for help if they have concerns.
Your help is vital and we would be grateful if you could also continue to help us promote ACT Early across the full range of assets already shared in our existing ACT Early toolkit.
Thank you for your support!
Questions? Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media copy
Mustafa was a follower of multiple radical clerics and promoted extreme views. This is what he would like to have said to his younger self.
Visit the #ACTEarly website for advice and support if you are concerned that a loved one is going down the wrong path
Feeling left behind can sometimes make someone vulnerable to the risk of radicalisation.
See how Micheal’s brother/Mustafa was drawn down a dangerous path ⬇️
Micheal lost his brother to an extremist group. He wishes he could have spotted the signs earlier.
See how his brother was drawn into extremism.
Visit #ACTEarly for support and advice if you are concerned about a loved one ⬇️
Extremism can pull a family apart.
If you’re concerned about a loved one visit #ACTEarly for support and advice ⬇️
News story/Press Release
CTP launch innovative new ‘letter to my younger self’ videos
Counter Terrorism Policing are taking their groundbreaking ACT Early counter radicalisation campaign directly to young people, with innovative new first-person videos.
More children and young people than ever before are being drawn towards extremism, and sometimes even terrorism.* This comes after the ‘perfect storm’ of the last year, in which children and young people have spent more time at home, online and out of education – putting them at risk of radicalisation and conspiracy theories.
That’s why CT Policing and its partners are stepping up their ACT Early campaign, to help prevent young people going down this dangerous path. Following a successful partnership with the Netmums parenting site in the summer, CT Policing are now appealing directly to young people themselves to be aware of the signs to spot and what to do if they are concerned about someone they know.
The first two of three new ‘letters to my younger self’ videos have been released on the ACT Early website and CT Policing social media channels this week, using first hand testimony of real-life stories from people who have been through a radicalisation process or lost loved ones to it.
Counter Terrorism Policing’s National Prevent Coordinator, Detective Superintendent Vicky Washington, said:
“With more and more young people at risk of radicalisation, we all need to play our part in stopping vulnerable individuals from being caught up in extremism and terrorism. Our ACT Early campaign is an amazing resource for parents, friends and family who want to learn about the signs to spot, and what to do if they do have a concern about someone they care about. These new films are a powerful and creative tool that add to that campaign, and will help us speak directly to young people themselves on social media, in schools or wherever they are.”
The films bring to life the words of Micheal and Mustafa through animation and dance. Micheal lost his brother Thomas to Islamist extremism, after Thomas died while fighting for a terrorist group abroad. Mustafa was a follower of multiple radical clerics, and himself expressed and promoted extreme views.
The films are available at https://actearly.uk/real-stories/, where users can also find practical information on what radicalisation is, how to spot it and how to get in touch with professional experts if they do have a concern.
A third film, telling the story of John’s journey in and out of Extreme Right Wing radicalisation, will be added to the site later this month – when CT Policing will also be holding a roundtable of partners in the youth sector and launching a competition for young people to create their own social media-friendly video content about radicalisation.
In the months ahead Counter Terrorism Policing will also be developing educational resources based around the films to take into schools and use in youth sector settings.
* Children under the age of 18 now make up a record high of more than 13% of all arrests in relation to terrorism offences, and the 24 arrests of children in the year to 31 June 2021 was the largest number of children arrested in relation to terrorism offences since the Home Office started recording these statistics in 2002.