Prevent and Radicalisation
The UK Threat level of a possible terrorist attack remains at Substantial, which means an attack is likely.
To put into context what this treat level means here is a case of terrorist activity in our region.
Man from Cumbria sentenced for terrorism offences after undercover investigation.
Earlier in February, a 23-year-old man has been given a seven-year custodial sentence at Preston Crown Court for committing seven terrorism offences.
In July 2022 Kurt McGowan of Workington in Cumbria pleaded guilty to seven terrorism offences at Preston Crown Court.
He pleaded guilty to four offences contrary to S58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (collecting information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism) and three offences contrary to S2 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (Disseminating Terrorist Publications).
McGowan was arrested in March 2021 by Counter Terrorism Policing North-East after an undercover investigation infiltrated him spreading extreme right-wing material on racist online chat groups.
His digital devices were seized and reviewed by officers. They were found to contain instructional documents for firearms and explosives. Some of which McGowan had disseminated online.
Experts considered this literature and its potential use to a terrorist and concluded “it was designed to encourage and skill members to take action to advance their cause”.
To help to understand and identify radicalisation risks with your learners, you can visit the government’s dedicated Prevent Duty site:
Here you will find more information around the current terrorism risks, plus the different types of threats and how children, young people and adults may find themselves becoming radicalised and the signs to look out for.
The NSPCC has published a news story on online child sexual abuse in the UK. Findings from a Freedom of Information request show a 66% increase in child abuse image offences recorded by UK police in the past 5 years. The news story reports that in 2021/22 Snapchat, was the most commonly named site being used to share child abuse images, mentioned in 43% of cases where this information was recorded. The NSPCC is calling on the government to create a statutory child safety advocate to put children’s experiences at the front and centre of decision making.
Read the news story: We’re calling for effective action in the Online Safety Bill as child abuse image crimes reach record levels
JusTalk app – safeguarding concerns
JusTalk is a free social networking platform that hosts video, voice and group calling messaging features, similar to popular messaging platform WhatsApp.
Schools and safeguarding professionals are reporting that children and young people are receiving harmful and inappropriate messages on the JusTalk app.
Although WhatsApp is also a free messaging service, there are several reasons why young people may turn to JusTalk instead.
As well as the different age ratings (WhatsApp is for 16+), the app itself is more interactive, with games and ‘doodling’ and features that could be considered more appealing to young people. It also has a social element that young people may feel other apps like WhatsApp are lacking.
Features of JusTalk
- Text one-to-one or in a group of up to 200 members.
- Make calls one-to-one or in a group of up to 50 members.
- Users can ‘doodle’ on faces and play games together during calls.
- Images, voices and videos can be shared.
- Users can share their location.
- In-app purchases of premium services.
- Premium features include the ability to record and store calls within the app.
JusTalk comes in two different versions: one for children aged under 13-years-old (called JusTalk Kids) and one for people aged 13+ (called JusTalk).
What are some of the potential risks of JusTalk?
Users are sharing their I.D. on other sites and platforms, like Reddit, in order to gain new friends. Unlike many other platforms, the risks associated with JusTalk mainly occur after a ‘friend’ is added (including with someone they might know ‘in real life’).
Image and content sharing
Information can be gleaned from an otherwise-innocent looking photo: a school blazer on show tells others where to find them five days a week; hockey sticks, paintbrushes or Fortnite posters gives groomers conversational starters; and a letter on the desk in the background tells where home is. Images and videos could also be recorded without the subject being aware.
As the app allows chats for up to 50 participants, there is a risk that a young person could share their location with someone they don’t really know – because the user in the chat group is a friend of a friend, they might feel like a ‘safe’ person.
Bullying and harassment
As the app allows for such large numbers of participants in chats and calls, there is a risk of ‘ganging up’ against one or a smaller group of people. This form of bullying can sometimes occur as a result of the perpetrators feeling less personally responsible when there are others taking part, too.
Third party advertising
The JusTalk app includes third party advertising, with apps like Tinder and adverts for gambling being featured frequently. This may encourage young people to visit those platforms, especially if they believe these apps have been ‘okayed’ by JusTalk.
For more information, please visit https://ineqe.com/2023/02/08/what-is-the-justalk-app/
We define domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common. Whilst men can be victims of domestic abuse in the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.
Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
- Psychological and/or emotional abuse .
- Physical or sexual abuse.
- Financial or economic abuse.
- Harassment and stalking.
- Online or digital abuse.
Recognising domestic abuse
Although every situation is unique, there are common factors that link the experience of an abusive relationship. Acknowledging these factors is an important step in preventing and stopping the abuse.
See the attachment to this bulletin for the list that can help you to recognise if you, or someone you know, are in an abusive relationship.
Getting help and support
All forms of domestic abuse are not acceptable in any situation. If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and feel frightened of, or controlled by, a partner, an ex-partner or family member, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault and there is no shame in seeking help.
It may seem like a difficult step to take, but there is support available and #YouAreNot Alone.
Free, confidential support and advice is available to victims and their concerned family members or friends, 24 hours a day.
Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
Online live chat webform
For free, confidential advice, 24 hours a day contact a domestic abuse helpline.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you can’t speak and are calling on a mobile press 55 to have your call transferred to the police.
Find out how to call the police when you can’t speak.
Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on children and young people that can last into adulthood . Clink here for more information on the impact on children and young people
Impact on children and young people – Women’s Aid (womensaid.org.uk)
Understanding child brain development | NSPCC Learning
Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal. 23rd March
Marie Curie is the UK’s leading end of life charity, they provide frontline nursing and hospice care, a free support line and a wealth of information and support on all aspects of dying, death, and bereavement.
National Day of Reflection
On 23 March 2023, the great daffodil appeal has a mission to bring people together to connect to remember loved ones who have died to cancer, and support people who are looking after a loved one and those that are grieving.
Get ‘involved and active’ this spring with the Marie Curie Step into Spring challenge!
Your challenge is simple: walk 10,000 steps every day in March and raise money to help families get the end of life care they need.
For more information about the appeal and how you may get involved click onto the Marie Curie website here. Great Daffodil Appeal 2023 (mariecurie.org.uk)
You can find more information about Marie Curie and the range of support they can offer here Information and support (mariecurie.org.uk)