Parents fearful of their children being radicalised and the impact of terrorism now have a helpline they can call for advice.
The NSPCC has launched a free 24-hour service the recent terrorist attacks which have highlighted the growing problem of individuals being influenced by extremism.
The service will provide the first national point of support to parents who might be concerned that their children are being radicalised or who need advice on how to talk to them about wider concerns related to the impact of terrorism.
Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO, said: “We have seen a wave of terrorist attacks in recent weeks and months and both parents and children tell us how frightened they are by what is happening. So it is vital that we are here for parents when they need our support and are able to provide them with non-judgemental advice on issues ranging from the wider terrorist threat to the dangers of radicalisation.
“Of course, the fact that a young person might hold extreme or radical views is not a safeguarding issue in itself. But when young people are groomed for extremist purposes and encouraged to commit acts that could hurt themselves or others, then it becomes abuse. That’s why we’ve trained our counsellors to cope with this fresh danger to young people.”
The NSPCC has already started receiving calls from adults worried about the problem, which prompted the children’s charity to offer advice and help. Its counsellors have been trained to spot the warning signs of radicalisation so they can advise adults who are worried about a child being groomed.
Part of the training, which detailed how recruiters befriend vulnerable targets, feed them ideologies and –in the worst case scenario - persuade them to commit terrorist attacks, was provided by Home Office experts.
Adults calling the helpline will be advised about the signs which may hint at a child being radicalised. These include -
• Isolating themselves from family and friends
• Talking as if from a scripted speech
• Increased levels of anger
• Becoming disrespectful and asking inappropriate questions
You can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.