A POSTER which aims to warn about the radicalisation of youngsters by terrorists does not feature the words radicalisation or terrorism because “they may seem scary”.

The NSPCC said it has opted for a message which did not directly address the words because they were sensitive and might put people off calling the helpline aimed at worried parents.

But there are fears the lack of directness instead risks disguising the point of the campaign to the extent parents will not realise that help is available.

The Argus revealed the NSPCC plans to put up the posters in 19 GP surgeries in Brighton, one of several cities chosen for the pilot project.

Former police officer Stuart Bower said: “It seems to me it is political correctness. In my experience as a police officer, if you are worried about something happening you cannot beat about the bush.”

But community leader Tariq Jung said it was right for the posters to be sensitive and parents would grasp their meaning in the current climate.

Written in six languages including English, Welsh, Arabic and Somali, the posters ask anyone worried about a child to “talk to us before a feeling becomes a problem”.

The message is followed by an NSPCC helpline number.

The Home Office has put forward £190,000 to fund the campaign and train the NSPCC counsellors.

Mr Bower, who is also a former Ukip candidate, said: “If parents are worried, they need to know there is somewhere they can go. That is vital. But it has got to be made crystal clear.”

Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove, said he did not think the words radicalisation and terrorism needed to be included.

He said: “The point is identifying behaviour change that could lead to a vulnerable person being put into danger. The point is not naming radicalism – the identification of what’s happening around people can come later. The important thing is we continue the public dialogue about this challenging issue.

“Because this touches on areas of religion, sometimes race and culture, we tend to avoid it.”

Mr Jung, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Muslim Forum, said: “They are right to be sensitive about it because if you keep harassing Muslims you are going to put them in a corner and that’s very dangerous. We don’t want to do what the French are doing.

“I think people will pretty easily understand what it is about. Anything we can try and do to discourage children from being attracted by this false image is helpful. Parents are struggling with this type of attraction and they don’t know what to doBut community can help bring change.”

He added that many of the signs of radicalisation that the NSPCC posters warn about could easily be applied to normal teenage problems, potentially posing problems.

“A parent might phone up and with a legitimate concern but not that they had been radicalised, yet they would get put into the radicalisation ‘pot’,” he said.

The NSPCC said it wanted anyone with concerns to call. A spokesman said radicalisation and terrorism did not appear because: “It’s down to the sensitivities of the words – they may seem scary and put people off calling.”


PARENTS in Brighton and Hove are being asked to call the NSPCC if they are worried about their children being radicalised by terrorist groups.

The move is a pilot project that could be rolled out across the country.

The charity announced plans yesterday to put up posters in 19 GP surgeries across the city with advice written in six languages: English, Welsh, Arabic, Urdu, Somali and Bengali.

It comes after five young men from the city are known to have gone to fight in Syria’s civil war, including three brothers, two of whom were killed there.

The NSPCC said it already received calls to its helpline from parents worried about children being radicalised, adding it did not know exactly how many were from Brighton.

A spokesman said: “We believe this is because not only were people previously unaware they could talk to us about this but the risk is relatively small and we do not expect to get as many calls as we would about other types of abuse, such as sexual.”

The posters are also being piloted in cities such as London, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester and Leeds.

It is hoped they will reach six million people.

The helpline is anonymous and the NSPCC said it would only pass information to other authorities “if a child’s life was in immediate danger” as is the case with other helplines.

The NSPCC said grooming for terrorism was abuse and children must be protected.