WORK is underway to tackle hate crime and reduce the risks of radicalisation in Cumbria.

As part of Operation Movie - a month-long operation to shine a spotlight on the unseen police work carried out daily - Cumbria police are sharing PREVENT counter-terrorism information.

Superintendent Matt Kennerley, PREVENT Lead at Cumbria Constabulary, believes it is vital to safeguard and support vulnerable people who may face the danger of radicalisation.

He said: “Whilst people may think that terrorism would not occur in a place like Cumbria, we do have vulnerable people needing support to keep them away from radicalisation.

“This is not about criminalising vulnerable people, much the opposite, PREVENT looks to help vulnerable individuals before they become radicalised.

“Terrorism is an act of violence grounded in extremist views. Perpetrators of hate crime can, if there is no intervention, evolve to terrorism.

“That is why we continue to issue information about reporting hate crime and raise awareness surrounding the signs of radicalisation in friends and family.”

He added: “It is important to continue to raise awareness of the signs of potential radicalisation so that the public can help us support vulnerable people before criminal acts occur.”

Some of the signs include: feeling under threat; experiencing mental health issues; having feelings of injustice; and becoming secretive.

The county's crime commissioner Peter McCall highlighted the importance of the work: "It would be easy to think that radicalisation of young people and terrorism are not issues we face in Cumbria but sadly we do have some and we cannot be complacent.

“The PREVENT programme is about ensuring that we divert young people in particular, before they are drawn into this dangerous crime."

If you have concerns about someone or want PREVENT advice, email or call Cumbria police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.