Lancashire leaders to work to prevent terrorism

Coun Peter Rankin, leader of Preston Council

Coun Peter Rankin, leader of Preston Council

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Council bosses are to work to prevent extremism and terrorism in Preston, after a new act was introduced to protect the public.

The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 was brought in earlier this year, giving a new responsibility to local authorities to work to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Across Lancashire, the police and local councils work closely together to identify any possible threat from terrorism or extremism

Town Hall chiefs will now take on projects including training staff to recognise radicalisation, and assessing the risk of adults and children being attracted into terrorism.

Coun Peter Rankin, leader of Preston Council, said: “Across Lancashire, the police and local councils work closely together to identify any possible threat from terrorism or extremism.

“However, essentially it’s about working with local communities to be on the lookout for people who may have or may be susceptible to taking extremist views.

“We’ve seen recently in other parts of the UK people leaving the country to join terrorist groups, so as a community we have to be aware and vigilant about this.

“It starts by trying to prevent people from being attracted to violent radicalism or taking an interest in extremism and we can only do that if we have the support and confidence of local communities, which is very much the case here in Preston.

“We are talking about a sustained effort from all sections of society and it’s something that, as we’ve seen from world events, will take time.”

The issue was discussed at last week’s cabinet meeting, where leaders agreed to put in place the Prevent action plan, to ensure the council complies with the new legislation.

It was also agreed that a referral system would be set up for children and adults at risk.

“Robust” policies and procedures are also to be put in place to make sure local authorities do not provide a platform for extremists.