City impresses USA with anti-terror plans

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THE way Portsmouth protects people from violent extremism has impressed staff from the United States Congress.

The congressional staff visited the city as part of an educational trip to learn about the UK’s strategy to combat violent extremism.

The scheme is part of the government’s overall counter-terrorism strategy and focuses on protecting people from the threat of terrorism.

As part of the trip, the group spent time at the Home Office in London to learn about the scheme before visiting Portsmouth to see how it is rolled out at a local level.

Charlie Pericleous, the Portsmouth Prevent co-ordinator, gave a briefing to delegates before they visited Springfield School to hear about a Respect scheme for children in the city.

He said: ‘The Respect program is offered by the Safer Portsmouth Partnership to every secondary school in Portsmouth and aims to help young people challenge all extremist propaganda and develop critical thinking skills.’

Springfield’s headteacher Sara Spivey said she supported the Respect lessons, adding that they offered pupils a chance to ’discuss challenging issues in a safe space’.

The Safer Portsmouth Partnership works to reduce crime and fear of crime in the city.