Schoolchildren in Portsmouth talk about extremism

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MORE than 1,000 children have been talking about extremism as part of the government’s counter-extremism scheme.

The 1,200 youngsters attended around 60 workshops in Portsmouth held over seven months as part of Prevent.

Charlie Pericleous, the city’s Prevent co-ordinator, said: ‘Young people were encouraged to think about all the forms extremism can take, including the far right, extreme animal rights activism, and ideologies inspired by Al Qaeda or Daesh – and how these views can be debated or challenged.

‘The aim of the programme was to allow them to discuss extremism and current world events in a safe environment, and help them develop critical thinking skills, so they can test ideas and use their own judgement.

‘They discussed positive ways of bringing about change and voicing their opinions.’

It comes after a group of young men have died fighting in Syria with Isis after leaving Portsmouth in 2013.

Ifthekar Jaman, 23, from Somers Town, was known as the ‘celebrity jihadi’.

Police have previously said that huge efforts have been made to work with people to stop them from becoming extremists, but more has to be done.