Hundreds of children as young as ten are being urged to spot potential terrorists and shop them to police. Up to 2,000 are to attend a safety event where a film will tell pupils that extremist views can develop at school. But critics condemned the initiative as a nightmare extension of the Big Brother state. Concerns were also raised that children could become subject to police monitoring if their fellow pupils misinterpreted innocent remarks or play.
The Lancashire Police film is being shown in Blackburn as part of its long-running Streetwise event which includes demonstrations on fire safety, water hazards and first aid. A spokesman said the reference to terrorism could encompass any extremist, including animal rights activists, and not just Islamist fundamentalism. He said: Its something we need to be aware of across the country. `Were not trying to scare anybody, were just raising awareness.
But Estella Schmid, a founder of the Campaign against Criminalising Communities, warned: This is a nightmare scenario. This risks criminalising children and is showing the expansion of the state into the most private areas. (Daily Mail Reporter, 6.04.2009) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1190483/Little-Brother-watching-Children-taught-spot-terrorist-police-DVD.html