A 15-year-old boy from Eastleigh who was charged with terrorism offences in June this year, has been found not guilty by a jury at Leicester Crown Court.
The 15-year-old boy who cannot be named because of his age, was charged with one count of preparation of terrorist acts contrary to contrary to section 5(1)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006 connected to Islamist terrorism by detectives from Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE).
The boy was initially arrested by officers from Hampshire Constabulary on Friday 12 June and subsequently further arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act, by detectives from CTPSE.
Following a 10 day trial at Leicester Crown Court, a jury has found him not guilty.
Chief Inspetor Marcus Cator, District Commander for Eastleigh, said: “We know that the communities in Eastleigh were concerned by this news at the time the boy was charged. We have been working closely with CPTSE throughout this time and today we must respect the decision made by the jury.
“We want to continue to encourage people to report any suspicious or concerning activity to us. This happened during lockdown when everyone, including children, were spending more time online and as restrictions continue we know this means a small number of vulnerable people are at greater risk of accessing harmful material.
“Support services continue to be heavily impacted by the pandemic. That’s why it is really important that parents are aware of what information their children are accessing online. We want to reassure you that there is help and support available if you notice your child’s or someone else’s behaviour has changed and you are worried.
“If you have concerns about someone you live with or know, we are here to help. Let’s Talk About It is part of the Government’s Prevent Campaign and Action Counters Terrorism websites contain information and guidance for parents, teachers, faith groups, charities and health workers.