West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has sent a strong message of unity and hope to all the communities of West Yorkshire (16 Jun 2015)

The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has sent a strong message of unity and hope to all the communities of West Yorkshire.

He pledged that the communities of West Yorkshire will be stronger and more resilient than ever in the face of adversity after media reports of two separate incidents of concern involving West Yorkshire residents overseas.

He said: "I have heard the media reports about what is thought to have happened and there is obviously deep concern and shock particularly for the families caught up and for the local communities.

"I also know people in the wider West Yorkshire community are understandably concerned but it is during times like this that people pull together and show strength in adversity. The ability and willingness of people in West Yorkshire to do this is one of the area's great strengths.

"As West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner I am working closely with West Yorkshire Police and other partners in the community to support people when they need it.

"North East Counter Terrorism Unit is leading both investigations.

"The North East CTU has wide experience of dealing with such enquiries and has effective liaison with partners nationally such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and internationally with authorities and law enforcement agencies overseas.

"Although the North East CTU is keeping an open mind there are lines of enquiry being progressed. As these are live investigations we are unable to comment further

 "It is also important to recognise that now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions. We need long-term solutions to long-term problems.

"That is why I have launched a scheme called Community Voices. Community Voices is an on-line training platform that provides a service to credible voices within local communities who are helping to tackle online radicalisation.

"The training offered helps members of the public who want to help make a difference to spot the early signs of extreme ideologies.

"It also and educates young and potentially vulnerable and impressionable members of society by challenging what they see on-line and explaining if it is right or wrong.

"Community Voices also shows people that there is support out there and that they are not alone - the police, partners and the public working together.

"It has been put together after speaking to communities in other parts of the UK and Europe so that it is relevant and realistic to meet the challenges we face."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019