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Posted on Friday 20 May 2022

“If you are worried about someone you know expressing extreme views or hatred, then please trust your instincts and ACT Early.” 

That’s the message from Regional Prevent Coordinator Detective Superintendent Matt Davison from Counter Terrorism Policing North East. 

“It can be hard to know what to do and who to turn to when a person you know is voicing concerning opinions. Maybe they are showing anger towards a particular group of people or an obsessive desire for ‘something to be done’. 

“We want you to know that support is out there both for you and those you are worried about. By contacting us in confidence, specially trained staff will listen carefully to your concerns and consider the right approach to get that person the help they need before they go too far. 

This important advice from Det Supt Davison comes as a 14-year-old boy from Darlington is convicted for possessing terrorist related documents. 

Following his arrest by CTP North East in June 2021, it was apparent the teenager held extreme views. 

The 14 year old was charged in January 2022 with three offences under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. 

He pleaded guilty to all offences on January 18 at Westminster Magistrates Court and today (Friday, May 20), at Newton Aycliffe Youth Court, was sentenced to a 12 month referral order. 

Detective Superintendent Davison said: “We know it can seem like a big step to share your worries but in many cases the right support will come through education and health professionals and there isn’t a need for further police involvement. The key, however, is to report your concerns early so we can agree the appropriate support before the situation escalates into something more serious, or offences are committed”. 

The ACT Early website (www.actearly.uk) provides information about signs to look out for when someone may be getting drawn into extremism. The website features examples of real life stories which may help if you are concerned about someone you know. The site also signposts people to support, who to contact if you are worried about a loved one and what help is out there.

Trust your instincts. Act early. If you’re worried that someone you know is being radicalised, visit actearly.uk for more information.

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