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.