Humza Arshad teams up with police to prevent young people from violence

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LONDON: A YouTube star has teamed up with police to prevent young people being drawn into violence. The Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (CTC) has collaborated with Internet comedian Humza Arshad to produce a hard-hitting film, ‘HATE’, as part of their presentation to secondary schools to discuss violent extremism.

Safeguarding through early intervention is an important strategy to protect young, vulnerable people from being pulled into a life of violent crime by others.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “The Met is working hard to prevent vulnerable young people from being drawn into violence, gang crime, and an extremist or hate-driven ideology.

“We believe our presentations at schools are going to be key to helping vulnerable young people set their minds against hate and violence. We hope it will empower them not to be influenced by those who support and encourage poisonous and extremist ideologies.

Starting on Monday, 27 January, and running until Thursday, 6 February, police officers from the CTC will visit 16 secondary schools across eight London boroughs to play the video to pupils, aged 14 to 18 years old, and discuss the important themes highlighted by the film.

The ‘HATE’ is a thought-provoking 12-minute film produced, directed by, and starring Humza, who is known for his ‘Diary of a Badman’ series on YouTube. The video itself is a dramatisation of life through Humza’s view of the world, as a way of opening up debate.

Humza narrates the video in poem form telling the story of two men driven to violence, showing how young people may be drawn into this, and how futile such action is. The film addresses the themes of intolerance, violent crime, racism, extremism, Islamophobia and radicalisation, and the consequences of being influenced by them. The aim is to help empower young people to recognise and counter such poisonous narrative.

After watching the film, the students have the opportunity to discuss with police officers and Humza the issues raised. The pupils will also be told about real-life case studies. Humza will also speak about his life experiences and what inspired him to make the film, using a combination of emotive stories and comedy.

Humza’s full video will be published, but a trailer is available to view now at https://youtu.be/qS5gB-cCS2M

The CTC has also developed an anti-extremism lesson plan designed to educate young people about Prevent and its work. This presentation and video will be made available to schools as part of a package designed to help them deliver the presentation themselves.

Humza Arshad, said: “I don’t think I’ve lived in such a divisive and dangerous time as what we’ve seen over the past year. From the mosque attacks in New Zealand to losing a friend to a knife attack a few weeks later, as a human being I’ve felt the impact of intolerance and senseless violence.