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Under-18s being drawn in by right-wing extremism

Police figures indicate that ten out of the 12 under-18s who were arrested for terrorism last year were linked to extreme right-wing beliefs.

The proportion of this age group arrested for right-wing beliefs, which is deemed by police as the fastest growing threat, is high compared to data for all age groups, which shows that 20 per cent of terrorism arrests in the year to June 30 2020 were linked to the ideology.

While Islamist terrorism remains the greatest threat for Counter Terror Policing, Neil Basu said that the threat from right wing extremism has grown from six per cent to 10 per cent of his work in the past few years.

He told the PA news agency: “There has definitely been a growth in nationalistic material online, white supremacist literature, things that are extremely disturbing in the extreme right wing space. Many of which do hit criminal thresholds, some of which is designed to entice people into closed groups where criminality and Nazi ideology is being discussed. It does seem to be having an effect on younger and younger children. In our case work in the extreme right wing space the subjects of interest to us do appear to be younger.”

A new website is being launched to help concerned parents get advice on how to deal with teenagers who may be showing signs of radicalisation.

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