Primary schoolchildren in Lancashire are to be shown a police-produced film warning about the danger from terrorists, and urging them to report anyone with "extremist views" to the authorities. The message is illustrated using the story of Catholic extremist Guy Fawkes, whose views apparently "began forming" while he was at school.
The Lancashire Telegraph reports on the plan by the Lancashire Constabulary's Blackburn-based Preventing Violent Extremism team. The terrorism-warning kiddy film is apparently part of the plods' "Streetwise" campaign, designed to inform local nippers of dangers such as drowning, fires, "stranger danger" and the internet sicko deviant grooming threat. And, of course, terrorists. The film will be shown to "more than 2,000" ten and eleven-year-olds by school liaison officers.
According to the Telegraph:
A lion explains that terrorists can look like anyone, while a cat tells pupils that should get help if they are being bullied and a toad tells them how to cross the road.
The terrorism message is also illustrated with a re-telling of the story of Guy Fawkes, saying that his strong views began forming when he was at school in York. It has been designed to deliver the message of fighting terrorism in an accessible way for children.
The paper quotes a police spokesman as saying that the film "introduces the issues surrounding terrorism at a very basic level ... encouraging children to report any concerns around safety to their parents, teachers or local police."
Famed crypto and security guru Bruce Schneier was scathing about the initiative, commenting on his blog "you can't make this stuff up ... If you ask amateurs to act as front-line security personnel, you shouldn't be surprised when you get amateur security".
Presumably he means the children rather than the police. ®