A surge in the number of children being monitored by Prevent for far-Right terrorism can be partly blamed on the amount of time young teens spent online during lockdown, it has been claimed. The Metropolitan Police has warned it is seeing increasing numbers of young teenagers being radicalised, with some even being found planning terrorist attacks, after ‘consuming violent, hateful and racist material’ online. The force has warned that this got worse throughout the pandemic and ‘there is no doubt that there has been a knock-on effect’ from the increased amount of time youngsters spent online during lockdown. Figures show the Government’s anti-terror programme received hundreds of referrals from concerned parents, teachers and loved ones about adolescents becoming caught up in extreme right-wing ideology. The worrying statistics show that the number of under-15 year olds who have been targeted by the scheme for interventions has doubled compared to before the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, with 246 being put on action plans in just the last two years. (…) She said: ‘Young people are increasingly dominating our casework at Counter Terrorism Policing, and that continues to be a significant concern for us. ‘This is especially true in our extreme right wing casework, where we are seeing very young teenagers being radicalised towards serious terrorism offending – even attack planning. ‘One of the drivers for this continuing trend is the amount of time that young people are spending online, and unfortunately children and teenagers are consuming violent, hateful and racist material which can lead to radicalisation. ‘We saw this get worse throughout the pandemic, and there is no doubt that there has been a knock-on effect that we are still seeing now. ‘Young people can be more vulnerable to what they see online, and extremists know this. They use a range of digital spaces, networks and platforms to influence and recruit, creating content that gradually draws young people into more dangerous spaces online.’

via dailymail: How lockdown ‘fuelled surge in right-wing extremism among children’: Shocking graph shows how number of under-15s monitored by Prevent for far-Right terrorism