Families ‘should not blame police’

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Published: Saturday 21st March 2015 by The News Editor

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The families of children who join Islamic State should take “prime responsibility” for their actions and not blame the security services, one of Britain’s most senior anti-terror officers has said.

Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said it was “ill-advised” for the relatives of children who join terrorist groups to blame the police for not taking action.

Speaking to The Times, Sir Peter said: “What is ill-advised is to just blame the police, blame the authorities, blame the school, when the absolute prime responsibility for the welfare of children lies with parents. I’m not saying that is easy. But it creates the conditions.”

Last Sunday the families of London schoolgirls Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum, who are feared to have joined Islamic State, claimed police “failed to act appropriately” in a joint statement.

Sir Peter added: ” I think there’s a real danger that we put this into a box labelled Muslim and say it is just about Muslim parents. No. From what we see, all parents are absolutely struggling with this.

“How do you get a balance between allowing your youngster some freedom, knowing all this material is being streamed into their bedroom, [and] at the time trying to safeguard them.”

About 600 Britons are believed to have travelled to Syria and Iraq since the conflict began, according to Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the national policing lead for counter-terrorism.

Speaking last month, he said that around half are believed to have returned to the UK.

Published: Saturday 21st March 2015 by The News Editor

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