Police are being told about British jihadis by their families following the adoption of a “less macho” approach to anti-terror units, according to a senior officer.
Relatives anxious to avoid seeing loved ones go to fight in Syria – mostly for opposition groups, some of which are linked to al-Qa’ida – have been giving police “a lot more information”, according to Cressida Dick, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
“Counter-terrorism policing, if you went back 10 years, would have been seen as the macho end of a macho organisation,” Ms Dick told The Times.
However the force was now keen to ensure that “as far as possible we are in tune with the communities that we’re serving”, she added.
“We’re getting lots of support from families who are ringing up and saying they are worried about their brother, son, sister sometimes, friend or indeed from other sources of information and intelligence,” she said.
“We [have] certainly got a lot more information and a lot more concerned people. We want to increase the proportion of people that would contact us, but we are getting a lot of calls for help. We are working effectively with those families, it’s obviously a very complex issue particularly if it results in a loved one being arrested.”