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 Durham teenager sentenced for terrorism offences

 07/01/2020

A 17-year old boy from Durham (who cannot be named for legal reasons) has been sentenced at Manchester Crown Court today (Tuesday January 7, 2020) after being found guilty of planning a terror attack.
 
The teenager has been sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.
He was unanimously found guilty of six terror offences, including engaging in the preparation of act of terrorism in November 2019.
 
The teenager was arrested in March 2019 following an intelligence led investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East in to Right Wing Terrorism.
 
Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East.
 
He said: “This has been a protracted and challenging investigation not least due to the age of the subject. The decision to investigate, arrest and prosecute a young person is never an easy one; however we will always take necessary and proportionate action to keep our communities safe.
 
“Cases such as this highlight the dangers our young people face today online. The negative influence and powerful manipulation that takes place by those who seek to radicalise them cannot be underestimated.
 
“Prevention is always better than cure, and we would always seek to reach out and engage with people before they are drawn down the path to criminal activity. 
 
“Protecting our young people is not something police can do alone. We all have a part to play in keeping vulnerable teenagers safe from a potentially dangerous path to radicalisation. 
 
“We want to empower all communities to speak out and counter poisonous, hateful narrative to help keep our children and those who are vulnerable safe. 
 
“We need to know and understand what content our young people are reading and engaging with to help to protect them from hate and toxic rhetoric and ideologies. Recognising changes in attitude and behaviour which could indicate they have been drawn to the principles and ideologies held by others, and seeking support and advice from professionals could save a young person from a potentially destructive path.
 
“If concerns about someone’s behaviour are raised early, we can, along with our strategic partners look to offer bespoke, appropriate support to help safeguard that individual. 
 
“Anyone worried about someone they know can make a referral in the confidence that it will be assessed and where deemed appropriate, support offered. 
 
“We cannot escape the use of technology in our modern lives, but we must be aware of the dangers that can surround children and young people when they explore the online world.
 
“Prevent is the most important strategy we have to safeguard young people from radicalisation and it is always better reaching people before they’re drawn into criminal activity.  
 
“Unfortunately, there are those who elect not to engage and refuse the support that is offered. In these cases, or where their behaviour has already gone too far, intervention may no longer be an option and we will take robust action.”
 
Every year thousands of reports from the public help police tackle the terrorist threat. If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and ACT by reporting to police in confidence at gov.uk/ACT.   
 
Reporting won’t ruin lives, but it could save them. Action Counters Terrorism.  
Remember, in an emergency, always dial 999.