Nearly 2,000 children in UK at risk of radicalisation: Report


Nearly 2,000 children across the UK were referred for being at risk of radicalisation in the last few years and were sent to the government's deradicalisation programme, according to a media report.
National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) figures obtained by the BBC as part of a freedom of information request found that a total of 415 children aged 10 and under and 1,424 children aged 11-15 were referred to the UK government's de-radicalisation programme, 'Channel', over the last four years across England and Wales.
The Channel scheme, set up after the July 7 London bombings in 2011, forms part of the UK government's overall counter-terrorism strategy and aims to steer young Britons away from extremism.
The NPCC found a total of 1,839 children aged 15 and under were referred over concerns they were at risk of radicalisation between January 2012 and December 2015 and the figures show referrals are rising year on year.
UK security minister John Hayes said: "This is about safeguarding and it's working. This is about protection, this is about help, this is about providing all the support you need to make sure your children are safe".
Sally Bates, of the National Association of Head Teachers' (NAHT), said in some cases young children had seen beheading videos with their families. "That does raise a number of concerns and that's where I can understand that referrals are then made from teachers," she said.
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The Channel programme being voluntary, of the thousands of referrals since 2012 only hundreds had agreed to take part. Under new laws introduced in Britain last year, schools, prisons, the National Health Service (NHS), and local authorities now have a legal obligation, known as the "Prevent Duty", to report individuals who might be vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation.

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