Safeguarding training delivered at Northamptonshire Police headquarters tested how agencies would work together and individually to detect signs of families at risk of falling victim to extremist ideology.
The scenario based training mirrored real life cases from other parts of the country that have seen whole families travel abroad under the misconception that they were creating a better life for their families, often taking with them, very young children.
The scenarios, coupled with expert speakers, examined how police, social care, heath, education, adult services and prison and probation, would take action to safeguard the family and children and assess the threat, risk and vulnerability posed.
The aim being to work to support and protect those that might be vulnerable to radicalisation and ensuring that individuals are diverted away before crime is committed.
Among the speakers at the training was former jihadist Manwar Ali. Manwar, who fought on the frontline in Afghanistan, spoke of his own experiences in becoming radicalised and enthused by the Muslim brotherhood ideology.
Now as an Interventions Provider he draws on this experience in his work with the Home Office and Crown Prosecution Service to prevent radicalisation and extremism.
He said: “I’ve worked with young teenage boys who have come through the other end and have found the intervention provided by Prevent and the support from school and other agencies has helped them.”
Inspector Jon Lloyd, from Special Branch, said: “The events of this week show the importance of working together and sharing understanding and knowledge. We need to stand together to tackle extremism and spot the signs early.
“I would urge anyone who has concerns about potential terrorist activity within the community to please contact us. We need the help and support of the public to keep communities in Northamptonshire safe.”
Susanne Forsey, team manager from Children’s Social Care, said: “This is a critical topic that people probably aren’t as familiar with, as other safeguarding issues. This is why the training today is a good opportunity to test what people know, share learning and improve understanding of what the professionals can do, how and when they may make referrals and ensure that we are responding to potential risks appropriately.”