London Dec 28: Over 60 children, under the age of 18, at risk of extremism are being referred to the UK counter-terrorism programme every week, according to latest figures released this week.
The figures from the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) show that in 2015-16 there were around 7,500 referrals to the "Prevent" programme, a rate of 20 a day. Of those, 3,100 were aged under 18, with 61 of them under 10 years of age.
Prevent has been credited with playing a role in disrupting more than 150 attempted journeys to the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, and is also handling a growing number of cases linked to far-right extremism, 'The Independent' reported.
The NPCC stressed it was a "voluntary scheme" aimed at people who professionals, friends, family and community members have concerns about and who need some help and support.
Of the total 7,500 referrals, approximately 37 per cent were assessed as having no vulnerability and therefore no action was taken; 25 per cent of referrals were assessed as having a "non counter-terrorism vulnerability" and referred to other agencies; 10 per cent were assessed as having a counter-terrorism vulnerability and engagement with Channel, a programme which supports those identified as being at risk of radicalisation, or other similar intervention, took place; and 28 per cent of cases are ongoing.
In cases where an ideology was identified and recorded, around 54 per cent of referrals related to Islamist extremism. Nearly one in 10 referrals was linked to far-right extremism.