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south yorkshire police

Terrorists could target Britain warns Yorkshire security expert …

BRITAIN COULD face a major terrorist strike in the wake of last night s atrocities in Paris as security services battle to tackle so-called Islamic State s increasingly aggressive stance against the West, a leading academic from Yorkshire has warned.

LIVE BLOG: FOLLOW THE EVENTS AROUND EUROPE IN REAL-TIME1 Intelligence services are facing an ever-growing demand on their expertise to hunt down members of the IS terrorism network which has claimed responsibility for a succession of attacks across the world in recent months.

Dr Afshin Shahi, the director of the Bradford University-based Centre for the Study of Political Islam, claimed the fragmented nature of the IS organisation means that it is extremely difficult for security agencies to track down those behind the most recent atrocities – as well as those who are planning future attacks.

He said: IS is evolving as an organisation at a very rapid rate, and it is clearly pursuing a campaign that is aimed at creating as much fear in communities across the Middle-East and the West as it can. MORE COVERAGE OF THE PARIS TERROR ATTACKS2

It had previously been more concerned about the expansion of its territories in Iraq and Syria, but now in retaliation to the anti-IS coalition in Iraq and Syria, they are targeting their enemies in their own countries. This is not just about targeting France, this is a message to every country that is part of the anti-IS coalition.

Dr Shahi claimed that Russia s recent military intervention in Syria is likely to have been the motivation for what is widely-perceived to have been a terrorist plot to blow up the passenger plane that crashed in the Sinai after flying out of the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh last month. All 224 people on board were killed, mostly Russian nationals.

Dr Shahi added: You can see the tensions have been rising in countries such as the United Kingdom. In my opinion, I can quite easily see a similar attack happening in London or a major city in the UK, because it is so difficult to track the members of the organisation. He stressed that the circumstances of each attack needed to be taken into context, and warned against comparisons to the massacre at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and shootings at a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January this year.

Dr Shahi claimed that both of those attacks had targeted specific sections of the Parisian society, with a magazine that had faced criticism for its parodies of religion and politics, as well as a supermarket serving the city s Jewish community.

He maintained that last night s attacks had been intended to cause as much fear among a far-wider section of French society. Dr Shahi said: He have to refrain from generalisation, as it is sometimes very tempting to try and create patterns in an attempt to explain what has happened. The circumstances of what happened in Paris last night are very different from what happened earlier this year.

There are of course some similarities, but last night was about targeting an area that was a very mixed neighbourhood with a lot of young people enjoying a Friday night out. This is going to create a massive propaganda effect, with people now asking why has their country been targeted again, and asking whether their government should change its foreign policy and intervention in other nations like Iraq and Syria. The intelligence services in France have faced criticism today after they were unable to prevent a second wave of terrorist attacks in the nation s capital city in the space of only 10 months.

But Dr Shahi claimed that the ability to track the terrorists was a huge challenge, due to IS having a loosely-based hierarchy and a fragmented structure spread across the globe.

There has been a concerted effort by the terrorist organisation to promote the brand of IS to scattered networks of other extremists to aid its cause. Dr Shahi said: There are a host of reasons as to why Paris has been targeted again. There is a great deal of polarisation between Muslims and the wider communities, and a lot of tension.

It may be as simple as the fact that the terrorists have been able to establish a better network in France than other countries, and the free movement around Europe into France has aided that. The Centre for the Study of Political Islam which is based at Bradford University will be officially launched next month at the House of Lords in London, although it has been operating since February this year. It is the first academic centre of its kind in the UK to study the various aspects of political Islam.

LIVE BLOG: FOLLOW THE EVENTS AROUND EUROPE IN REAL-TIME3

References

  1. ^ Paris Terror live blog (www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk)
  2. ^ MORE COVERAGE OF THE PARIS TERROR ATTACKS (www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk)
  3. ^ Paris Terror live blog (www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk)

Police in week of action at level crossings in South Yorkshire …

Extra police patrols will be carried out at level crossings in South Yorkshire this week in a bid to reduce the number of motorists who fail to stop at signals.

Operation Look, run by British Transport Police, is a week of action across the country mounted after it emerged there were 3,615 offences at crossings last year.

Incidents ranged from trespass to failing to stop at signals.

Inspector Becky Warren, of British Transport Police, said: We will not hesitate to enforce the law, but convincing people to change their habits at crossings is a vital part of what we do.

Court order protects South Yorkshire girl from genital mutilation …

Courts

14:32
Tuesday 16 June 2015

A South Yorkshire girl believed to be at risk of genital mutilation has been offered protection from the courts after an investigation by South Yorkshire Police.

The three-year-old was made a ward of court and placed under the protection of a non-molestation order by a High Court judge Officers from South Yorkshire Police identified the girl as being a potential victim of female genital mutilation and the decision of the court now prevents the girl s family from engaging in or preparing for any act of genital mutilation in the UK or elsewhere in the world.

It also prevents the family from taking the child out of the country.

The non-molestation order prevents any violence or threat of violence, including genital mutilation, against the child. Breaches of the orders could result in a jail term.

Under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, it is illegal for the act to be performed. It is also an offence for a UK national or permanent UK resident to carry out the mutilation, or to help and enable someone else to carry it out.

The law still applies when the victim is taken to a country where the act is legal. If convicted, perpetrators can face up to 14 years in prison.

Detective Sergeant Suzanne Bluck, of South Yorkshire Police, said: The decision of the High Court judge last week is a real breakthrough for our force and the protection we can offer to victims and potential victims of this horrific crime. This is an incredibly taboo issue that we need to continue to talk about if we are going to prevent this monstrosity happening to our young women.

Let s be very clear – female genital mutilation is a form of child abuse and as such, it will not be tolerated and we will use whatever options are available to us to safeguard those at risk. She added: Female genital mutilation is a significantly under-reported crime, so while it s very difficult to definitively state how many young girls are at risk, we must do everything we can to protect victims and potential victims.

We believe that this is an issue that will affect certain communities in South Yorkshire and I hope this case encourages victims and potential victims, or anyone with concerns, to come forward and get the support they need. While it is thought that female genital mutilation predominantly takes place outside the UK, police believe it is a vastly under-reported crime. To report concerns call South Yorkshire Police on 101.

For further information, advice and support, call the NSPCC female genital mutilation helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk.

Childline can also be contacted on 0800 1111 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk.

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