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One minor a day reported for radicalisation in Britain

27 July 2015, 18:52

London - More than 800 minors -- 84 of them under the age of 12 -- were referred to a British government programme to counter radicalisation over a two year period, official data released on Monday showed.

Between April 2012 and June 2014, 834 minors under the age of 18 were reported to the Channel programme, which is aimed at helping young people seen as vulnerable to Islamic extremist ideologies.

The figures were released by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) following a freedom of information request by Britain's domestic Press Association news agency.

They showed the number of referrals increasing.

In a 12-month period between 2012-2013 a total of 290 youths and children were reported to Channel.

That number rose to 423 the following year.

Between April 2012 and June 2014, some 2,335 people in total were referred to Channel.

Security Minister John Hayes said the total number since 2012 was "over 4,000 referrals", indicating a sharp increase over the past year.

"Referrals to Channel have increased since 2014 but we have dedicated sufficient resources to the programme to cope with demand," Hayes said.

The NPCC said that one in five referrals leads to a support programme for the individual.

Channel is part of the Prevent strategy to combat radicalisation.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to clamp down on homegrown extremists in new legislation to be put forward later this year and has urged young Britons not to join the Islamic State group.

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