THE head of counter terrorism in the UK visited the town's Peace Centre to see how it is fighting extremism.

The visit on Thursday came in the same week as the 26th anniversary of the Warrington bombing and less than a week after 50 people were killed in mosque shootings in New Zealand.

Neal Basu, the head of counter terrorism policing went to the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation to understand the work the charity is doing to counter the terrorist threat in the UK.

Mr Basu said: “I am delighted to be in Warrington to show my support for the outstanding work the Peace Foundation do to counter the terrorist threat in the UK.

READ MORE > Town remembers bombing 26 years on

“Colin and Wendy’s determination to turn their pain and loss into a force for good is incredibly inspiring, and within the counter terrorism world we have immense respect for the survivors groups like theirs for taking this vital work into communities where it can make a real difference.

“I believe organisations like the Peace Foundation play a vital role in supporting victims of terror, and using their experiences to fight extremism within communities and inspire real change in our politics and policing.”

Nick Taylor, CEO of the foundation, said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome the counter terrorism chief for the Metropolitan Police, Neil Basu to our Peace Centre.

"We discussed at length the work we do here to prevent terrorism. The horrific mosques shooting in New Zealand taking 50 innocent lives show that tackling extremism is an ongoing duty in every society.

“This week also marks 26 years since a bomb on Bridge Street killed three-year-old Jonathan Ball and fatally injured twelve year old Tim Parry.

"Inviting Neil Basu gave us an opportunity to discuss the different initiatives we have created here since the foundation was set up in 1995 by Tim Parry’s family after the fatal bombings and to reflect on how terrorism is indiscriminate of its targets.

Warrington Guardian:

Nick Taylor at the anniversary service on Wednesday

“Fighting hatred in our country requires responsible dialogue between all sectors in society and media reporting with a willingness to share different ways to tackle such a complex issue.

"Working together to confront the violence instigated by a small, but dangerous minority in this country ensures we are doing all we can today. Solidarity between all communities is crucial in times like this, we cannot let hatred win.”