Schoolboy questioned by Lancashire police because he said he lived in a 'terrorist house'

The unnamed 10-year-old meant to write that he lived in a 'terraced house'

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 20 January 2016 09:35
The boy had apparently meant to write 'terraced house'
The boy had apparently meant to write 'terraced house'

A 10-year-old Muslim boy was questioned by police after mistakenly writing that he lives in a "terrorist house" in a school assignment.

The unnamed schoolboy, who attends primary school in Lancashire, meant to write that he in lived in a "terraced house".

The boy was interviewed at home by Lancashire Police and the family’s laptop was examined after he was reported to police by his teacher in December last year.

All teachers have been legally obliged to report any suspected extremist behaviour since July under new counter-terrorism measures introduced by the Government.

The boy’s cousin told the BBC the family wanted an apology from the police and from the school, saying he was now too scared "[to write] using his imagination".

She said: "You can imagine it happening to a 30-year-old man, but not to a young child.

"If the teacher had any concerns it should have been about his spelling.

"They shouldn't be putting a child through this."

Lancashire Police said in a statement to the BBC: "This was reported to the police but was dealt with by a joint visit by a PC from the division and social services, not by anyone from Prevent [the Home Office's anti-extremism strategy].

"There were not thought to be any areas for concern and no further action was required by any agency."

It comes just months after another 10-year-old in Birmingham was interviewed after complaining about there not being a prayer room on a residential trip.

Although the Home Office does not publish the overall number of people referred to its de-radicalisation programme in the year till the end of October 1,355 people aged under 18 were referred to it - compared to just 466 in 2014.