UK schools asked to monitor extremist behaviour among students
Schools in a county in South-East England have been asked by local authorities to inform police about students they suspect are falling under the influence of extremists, including the dreaded Islamic State militants.
London: Schools in a county in South-East England have been asked by local authorities to inform police about students they suspect are falling under the influence of extremists, including the dreaded Islamic State militants.
The move by the local council in Buckinghamshire follows the disappearance of more than half a dozen young men from High Wycombe in the county who are believed to have travelled to Syria to join the IS terrorist group.
According to 'The Sunday Times', the letter titled "Advice on raised terrorist threat level" was sent to 230 schools by the county council on September 19, shortly after the government raised the terror threat level from substantial to severe.
It asks teachers to use the anti-terrorist hotline or 999 if they notice "suspicious bags, behaviour or vehicles".
The letter said, "If you have any concerns, especially with regards to young people or their friends or family members being persuaded to participate in the conflict (in Syria and Iraq) or commit acts of terrorism here, please take the opportunity to talk to one of the police officers you see on patrol in the local community."
Tower Hamlets council in east London is also encouraging parents and teachers to report concerns about young people's safety, including racist or extremist behaviour.
As many as eight men from High Wycombe are believed to have gone to Syria to fight with IS militants, according to some reports.
Among the residents known to have joined the group are Omar Hussain, 27, a former security guard at Morrisons supermarket, and a student, Shabazz Suleman.
Following the letter, the heads of six primary schools in Buckinghamshire have reported concerns about anti-western sentiments expressed by pupils.
"In response, the county council and the police will be jointly delivering two training session to primary heads under the government's Prevent programme before the end of the year," a council spokesman said.