English UK has been approached by Kent Police to help make members aware of the Prevent programme, which aims to protect the UK against terrorism. Click here for more information.
Below is an extract from a report by the Extremism Task Force which is hosted by the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister hosted the final meeting of the Extremism Task Force on 28th November. On 4th December the key findings of the Task Force and a public document were published. The report from the work of the Taskforce sets out the government's aim of tackling all forms of extremism, but recognises that the greatest risk to the security of the UK comes from Al Qa'ida and like-minded groups. The report gives the definition of extremism used in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. It also provides a definition of Islamist extremism, which should not be confused with traditional religious practice. Challenging extremism is a shared effort for both government and communities in the UK.
The report sets out practical proposals to tackle extremism in the following areas:
- disrupting extremists by closing the gaps in legislation,
- countering extremist narratives and ideology by addressing access to terrorist material online through better restrictions and improved reporting processes,
- preventing radicalisation by making the delivery of Prevent a legal requirement in areas of the country where extremism is a concern,
- integration through supporting projects that demonstrate how communities come together,
- stopping extremism in institutions, including schools, universities and further education and prisons by working with these institutions to increase oversight where it is needed.
Responding to the announcement regarding the Extremism Task Force, Sir Peter Fahy, National Prevent Policing lead said: "I welcome the practical steps outlined by the Prime Minister's Task Force to create new opportunities to challenge extremism and tackle terrorism head on.
"Whilst we should not under estimate the progress the UK has already made to counter terrorism it is clear that the very real threat we face requires us to continuously review and enhance our approach. The measures announced today include making Prevent (in areas of the country where extremism is of particular concern) and also the Channel scheme in England and Wales, a legal requirement. This will allow our communities to challenge terrorist ideology with more confidence, enable partners to work more effectively together and identify and support those most vulnerable to radicalisation.
"Challenging and tackling extremism is a shared effort and I am also pleased to see the role that local authorities have to play in this arena is key to our success moving forward. This is echoed in the emphasis placed on stopping extremism and the radicalisation of vulnerable individuals in institutions – such as prisons or schools and universities/further education.
"The announcement today also highlights the importance of countering extremist narratives and propaganda which are too often widely available, particularly online. Much has been achieved to date through the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, but the Extremism Task Force's emphasis on bringing forward new measures to tackle online extremism is a very positive move that I support.
"In all that we do we have to achieve a balance between robustly tackling violent extremism and maintaining some of the basic values and democratic safeguards that the terrorists aim to undermine. The best resource we have is the support of local people in passing to us any suspicions they may have about activity in their neighbourhood."
Click here to access the full report.
There is also a 20 minute docu-drama called "Conviction" which provides an insight into the radicalisation of Andrew Ibrahim, the student from Bristol who was on the verge of mounting a suicide attack in one of the towns local to him. Another useful links is www.acpo.police.uk/ACPOBusinessAreas/PREVENT.
Kent Police have been involved at a local level in providing Prevent messaging to local mosques and Muslim communities following the Woolwich incident in May 2013. They are also engaging with communities in relation to the dangers and offences for those involved in travelling to Syria with a view to participating in the conflict.
Kent Police have started forging links with the universities and language schools across East Kent, providing a basic explanation of Prevent, so that they might feel confident about how to deal with any issues arising among the students in their care. They are keen to make this information available to all English UK members.
If the above is of interest to your school/community please let Naadiya Rawat, Public Affairs, Policy and Research Manager, know by email at Naadiya@englishuk.com. If there is significant interest from members we will look at offering a session for a specialist Police Office to present the information.
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