As the summer holidays approach, there is a good chance that your child will be spending more time online during their free time. One of the risks to young people online is from those looking to radicalise and draw them into extremism.
I am therefore reaching out to parents and carers across every London borough to share information about spotting the signs of radicalisation in young people. This shouldn’t be a cause for alarm, and I want to reassure you that the risk of radicalisation is still relatively low.
However, we are seeing an increasing number of young people being drawn into various forms of extremism, so it is important we are doing everything to safeguard and protect young people from these risks.
When a young person is being drawn down a path towards radicalisation, there are often signs in their behaviour that can indicate this is happening. This could be something like becoming more secretive about who they are speaking to, or becoming less tolerant of other people’s views.
The ACT Early website - www.actearly.uk - has information and advice about the signs to look out for and how you can approach and have conversations with your children about this subject.
If you are worried about your own child, or anyone else, then there is help available through the Prevent programme. Prevent is the Government’s programme aimed at safeguarding and supporting those vulnerable to radicalisation and police work closely with other partners to help steer people away from radicalisation and extremism.
If you do have concerns – however big or small, then you can also call the ACT Early Support Line on 0800 011 3764, in confidence, to share your concerns and speak with our specially trained officers.
By reaching out early for support and advice, you can help protect your child before their extreme views become more of a danger to themselves or others.
So please be vigilant, particularly over the coming weeks when schools and colleges are closed, and if you have any concerns at all, then please ACT Early and get in touch with us.
Detective Superintendent, and Met Police Prevent Lead