AN ANTI-TERRORISM training course for housing staff which was piloted in East Lancashire is to be rolled out across the country.

Staff employed by Chorley Community Housing were given training by Greater Manchester Police to teach them to be alert to indicators of potential home grown terrorism when they visit people’s homes.

The scheme is now being rolled out nationwide and will be launched at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Manchester later this month.

Richard Houghton, who was one of the CCH staff who received the training, said delegates had learned about the role housing association staff can play in preventing attacks. He said: “The training was designed to help housing staff recognise the potential indicators of home grown terrorism.

“The message from GMP was that the whole community has a role to play in this but that front line staff who may be visiting tenants in their homes are in a unique position because they are one of the few professions who are granted access to people’s homes.”

Detective Constable Asif Khan, prevention engagement officer from the North West counter-terrorism unit at GMP, delivered the training to staff from Adactus, which is in the same group as CCH, who then passed on their skills and knowledge.

He said: “We have colleagues all around the country who do the same role, and they will be trained up in this.

“It will be a national package. We hope it will end up as front line professionals teaching other front line professionals.”

Paul Lees, chief executive of Adactus, added: “Terrorism is a threat that we are aware of and one that we take seriously.

“We feel we have a role to play in staying vigilant.”