Prevent Tragedies: Police urge public to protect young people from Syria dangers
What are the risks from terrorism in Syria?
There are a multitude of groups fighting in Syria and a number of these groups are defined as terrorist by the British Government. This includes ISIS and groups linked to al-Qaeda. ISIS has openly called upon anyone who supports them to attack and murder anyone who does not share their beliefs. In this respect we have seem innumerable attacks throughout Europe and hundreds of innocent people die as a direct result of their incitement.
Within Syria it is important to remember that these particular groups are not just fighting the Assad regime; they are also frequently fighting other groups that have been opposed to the regime since the beginning of the civil war. The situation is rapidly changing, confusing and extremely dangerous, a number of British citizens have been killed and the risk of death is now higher than ever. The nature of the threat posed by ISIS is such that it is realistic to suppose those spending time within that regime will be exposed not only to physical risk and psychological harm but also intensive radicalisation which will dramatically increase the threat of violence that they pose should they return to the United Kingdom. If you become involved with fighting in Syria, you could be prosecuted under UK law on your return.
The Police are appealing to all communities to help protect our citizens and in particular our young people who may be planning to travel there. We would encourage anyone who is concerned about the safety of a loved one or of a neighbour to come forward.
As the so called Islamic State shrinks it has become increasingly difficult for British people to join them, however due to serious safety concerns, travel to Syria for any purpose is strongly discouraged by the UK authorities. Anyone travelling there is in danger.
It is vital that people who genuinely want to help the Syrian cause know how they can do so safely and legally. The advice is to donate to registered charities which have experience of providing humanitarian assistance in high risk, insecure and dangerous environments and which have on-going relief operations in Syria and/or neighbouring countries, such as the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) or its member charities.
The Charity Commission’s website should be used to check that a charity is registered and to ensure that donations will be used properly -