Counter terrorism initiative goes national

Monday, 29 June, 2009

Lancashire Constabulary's award winning
Counter Terrorism initiative ACT NOW that stimulates debate around the sensitive
subjects of terrorism and extremism in society has been rolled out to police forces across the country.

ACT NOW is an innovative interactive community counter terrorism exercise.

The workshops are currently hosted across Lancashire and enable community groups from any background to be Counter Terrorism Officers for the day in a bid
to strike up dialogue and debate.

The unique engagement style allows communities and particularly young people
to discuss any perceptions they might have in a safe environment. ACT NOW has been developed by Lancashire Constabulary's Counter Terrorism Branch
with partner agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service, Community Cohesion
Team, and the Police Hate Crime and Diversity Units in East Lancashire.

Over the last eighteen months, over 160 ACT NOW sessions have been delivered both regionally and nationally. Since the
project started schools, colleges and universities across the country and over 2,000 participants have undergone the ACT NOW experience.

Detective Sergeant Ken Kirwan from Lancashire Constabulary Counter
Terrorism Branch said:"We are delighted to work in partnership with so many
forces across the UK including Scotland and Wales.

Having the ACPO Prevent team on-board provides the essential national support
to ensure the delivery of ACT NOW in each part of the country.

ACPO Prevent Lead Chief Supt Mark Collins and the National ACPO Prevent team will be overseeing the project from a national perspective.

In September, the ACT NOW for schools programme will be piloted at a number of secondary schools across the North
West; this will comprise of a teacher resource pack, including lesson plans and
promotional material. This collaborative work with schools is being seen nationally
as groundbreaking by the department for children, schools and families.

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