Terrorism letter sent to schools
Advice given after threat level rises
HEADTEACHERS have been sent a letter with advice on what to do if they believe pupils are being persuaded to join conflicts abroad.
Buckinghamshire County Council’s (BCC) interim strategic director children and young people’s services Trevor Boyd sent the letter to all headteachers in the county.
The move follows the disappearance of up to eight men from High Wycombe, who are believed to have travelled to Syria to join terrorist group Isis.
The letter was sent after the terrorist threat level was raised from substantial to severe.
It 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.”
A spokesman for BCC said the letter was not issued in response to any particular threat in Bucks, but was intended to ensure headteachers were aware of procedures if any pupil’s behaviour became a ‘matter of concern’.
The letter asks teachers to call the police if they see ‘suspicious bags, behaviour or vehicles’.
Since it was sent six primary schools requested guidance after pupils made comments triggered by news from Syria.
The council added: “As well as responding to those specific requests, the county council and the police will, before the end of the year, be jointly delivering two training sessions to primary heads under the government Prevent programme.”
None of the county’s 34 secondary schools contacted the council after the letter.
Four men were recently arrested by counter terrorism police in a series of raids in London and High Wycombe.
A 19-year-old from Wycombe is still in custody, after officers were given extra time to question him.
Police said his arrest, following a search of a home in Desborough Avenue, was part of an ongoing investigation.