Police force backs new national counter terrorism campaign that aims to stop young people travelling to Syria

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  • Beds Police backs national counter terrorism campaign to stop young people from travelling to Syria
  • In the last year 22 women and girls have been reported missing and families fear they have travelled to the country
  • Mothers are encouraged to have ‘open discussions’ with their daughters
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A national counter terrorism campaign designed to help prevent young people from travelling to Syria is being backed by Beds Police.

The campaign, which involves radio and press adverts in minority ethnic media across the country, was launched in Monday.

I would encourage family members and friends to highlight concerns at an early stage so that we can work with them and partners to safeguard people who may be thinking about travelling to Syria.

Chief Insp Matt Thompson

It aims to highlight the strong bond between a mother and daughter and how that relationship can have a powerful influence on a young woman and the decisions she makes.

They encourage mothers to have open discussions with their daughters about issues such as travelling to Syria and what they are viewing online.

In the last year, 22 women and girls have been reported missing to police across the UK by families who fear they have travelled to Syria, putting them in serious danger and leaving their families devastated.

The campaign recognises that it is mothers who often spot changes in behaviour or signs someone may be considering travelling to a conflict that millions are desperate to escape.

By encouraging mothers to have an open dialogue with their daughters, it is hoped that potential interest in travelling to Syria will be picked up at an early stage and that the mother will be able to take action, either by challenging the misconceptions or seeking help from other agencies, including the police.

Families are also encouraged to reach out to specially trained officers for help and advice by calling 101 or visiting www.preventtragedies.co.uk. This is a dedicated webpage, newly created as a one-stop-shop for concerned families to visit if they would like further information or advice around this issue. The website also provides links to a range to a range of further organisations working in this field.

Leaflets supporting the campaign are also being provided to police forces to distribute locally.

Regional co-ordinator, Chief Insp Matt Thompson, said: “We fully support this campaign which delivers an important message around the risks of travelling to Syria. 

“I would encourage family members and friends to highlight concerns at an early stage so that we can work with them and partners to safeguard people who may be thinking about travelling to Syria, which as a consequence could be putting themselves in danger and out of reach of help and support.”