If Surrey were Syria: Social experiment shows what it's like to live under siege

Hidden cameras capture the shock of Brits living in conditions similar to war-torn country

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The Independent Online

The shock of Britons having their daily lives interrupted by fake checkpoints similar to those in conflict-ridden Syria has been captured by hidden cameras for a social experiment.

Organised by Save the Children, the video features actors who set up fake scenarios in a Surrey town and filmed the genuine reactions of the public.

It showed their range of responses as they discovered school gates shut, shops with empty shelves and emergency services stopped at arbitrary checkpoints.

One mother, whose daughter’s school was shut in the experiment said: “I thought, why can’t my children go to school? I am getting emotional thinking about it. It made me realise that we do need to be aware, and make our children aware, of what is going on.”

The Syrian refugee crisis in numbers

Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children, believes “if the average European citizen would not stand for being cut off from food, healthcare and schooling, why should Syrian families?”

According to the UNHCR, one in five Syrians is now a refugee with over four million people having fled the country since the end of last year. It is now the world’s single largest refugee crisis for almost 25 years.

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