Residents urged to report terrorist material

Dorset residents are being urged to make use of a new unit set up by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to report terrorist material on the web.

Dorset Police, Bournemouth Borough Council, Borough of Poole and Dorset County Council are supporting the ACPO Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) based in London, as they help to prevent terrorism and violent extremism online.

The CTIRU was set up a year ago in order to make the internet a more hostile place for terrorists. It aims to remove unlawful terrorist material content from the internet, focusing particularly on UK based material. It also works with international partners to remove material hosted abroad.

A dedicated webpage has now been set up where people can report online content that they think might be illegal, or could cause offence.

By visiting www.direct.gov.uk/reportingonlineterrorism referrals can be made directly to the CTIRU via a totally anonymous referral system for members of the public.

The website encourages the public to take action against material that incites any form of violent extremism and terrorism by reporting unacceptable content to website administrators or hosting companies as well as the CTIRU.

Inspector Alan Jenkins, Dorset Police Prevent Lead, said: “The internet is used by some people to promote terrorism and violent extremism. These people may be accessing the web at home, or in public places such as local libraries or internet cafes. The Government, Dorset Police and our partners from the local councils are committed to protecting the public from terrorist content online, but this can’t be done alone. Everyone who uses the internet can help to make it safer, if you see something then report it.”

DCI Jayne Snelgrove, Head of the CTIRU, said: “While the internet makes a positive contribution to most people’s lives on a daily basis it can and is used by criminals and terrorists.

“Policing of the internet is a relatively new area, but we are aiming to make it more hostile for people who use it for terrorist or criminal purposes.

“The CTIRU is focused on material that is used for terrorist purposes or to promote extremist messages that radicalise vulnerable people.

“A lot of what is referred to us by the public may not breach the law, however we are best placed to conduct tha­t assessment and it’s important that we know the scale and range of material available to the public.”

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