NORTH-East police are seeking to stop young Muslims going to fight in Syria.

Durham Police is supporting a national effort which is targeting women who may have loved ones considering joining the civil war.

Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks said: “We welcome this initiative and are working with our communities to ensure that we get the message out to those people who have relatives or friends who may be thinking of going out to Syria.

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“We would also welcome contact from anyone who is concerned or just wants to talk to us about fears they may have regarding their loved ones getting involved.

“This can be done by calling 101 and asking for extension 2234 at Chester-le-Street police station.”

The regional campaign is being led by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, based in West Yorkshire.

Lead officer, Assistant Chief Constable Ingrid Lee, said: “We are increasingly concerned about the numbers of young people who have or are intending to travel to Syria to join the conflict.

“We want to ensure that people, and in particular women, who are concerned about their loved ones are given enough information about what they can do to prevent this from happening.

“We want to increase their confidence in the police and partners and encourage them to come forward so that we can intervene and help.

“This is not about criminalising people, it is about preventing tragedies. We want to inform those who wish to genuinely help the Syrian cause how they can so safely and legally.”