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Cross The Line app in line for national award

2 Nov 2017

A pioneering initiative to raise awareness among young people of the dangers of radicalisation, hate crime and online extremism has been nominated for a national award.

Spearheaded by Bedfordshire Police, ‘Cross the Line’ is a hard-hitting web app which places the user right at the heart of the action, by using information from the individual’s online personal profiles, alongside video and social media messages. Since its launch in July, the app has been accessed by more than 26,000 people, and has now been put forward for the Drum Network Partnership Marketing Campaign of the Year Award. The agency which created the product, Focus Integrated, has been put forward for the award along with Bedfordshire Police.

Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire said: “This is an incredibly important campaign as it highlights the dangers of extreme views and the potential consequences of getting drawn into radical groups.

“Sadly, the awful events we have seen over recent times have caused an increase in extreme views and hate crime. It is crucial that we educate our young people about what online radicalisation may look like and make an informed choice about whether they themselves would cross the line.”

The nomination comes after officers presented Cross the Line to students at Barnfield College as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Head of Tutoring and Student Engagement at Barnfield College, Beth Taylor, said: “Barnfield College was proud to work with Cross the Line as part of our Hate Crime Awareness Week and our initiative to transform the lives of students and the wider community."

The app guides the user along a virtual path which sees them become drawn into the clutches of extremist ideology, before descending into violent hate crime in which they are a suspect. The user is presented with various choices along the journey which have a profound impact on the steps they take and ultimately decide whether they eventually ‘Cross the Line’ into extremist behaviour.

The app is being promoted to young people in the area through social media channels. Those who want to try it out and see if they would ‘Cross the Line’ can go to ‘Cross the Line’ website. 'Cross the Line' is an initiative developed by the Prevent team at Bedfordshire Police. Prevent is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism and is one of the four elements of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. Prevent aims to stop people becoming drawn into extremist or terrorist activity, using a range of measures.

For more information, visit Let's Talk About It website.  Bedfordshire Police is encouraging anyone with a friend or relative who they feel may be in need of help, or who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, to contact them for support and early intervention on 101, or alternatively contact the national police hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321. Additionally, anyone who experiences hate crime is urged to report the matter to police on 101. Bedfordshire Police has also worked closely with partners to set up a number of third-party reporting centres.

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