23 May, 2022 – The leaks of the government-commissioned review of the Prevent strategy demonstrate what is the latest Tory gift to the far-right: the threat of neo-nazism is set to be downgraded despite mounting evidence to the contrary, while social justice campaigns will be targeted. This reveals the extent to which extremist views are being brought into the mainstream. The recent deadly and racist attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York is a clear indication that the ideology ‘the great replacement theory’ which says that ‘foreigners are a demographic threat’ is gaining traction among white supremacist groups. A lot of attention has been cast on US news presenter Tucker Carlson and Fox News as spreading this rhetoric in the US, but less attention is being placed on its proponents in Britain. One prominent voice is the independent reviewer of Prevent, Sir William Shawcross, who has repeatedly made dangerous […]
Prevent review ‘does not reflect reality’ and must keep focus on far right, say experts – The Guardian
22 May, 2022 – Government advisers on extremism have openly questioned the direction of the Home Office’s counter-terrorism programme after it emerged last week that a review was advocating a crackdown on Islamist extremism rather than the threat of the far right. They questioned why the review of the Prevent strategy carried out by William Shawcross at the behest of the home secretary, Priti Patel, should refocus on Islamism at a time when Prevent referrals over the ideology have fallen to 22%, while a quarter now relate to far-right extremism. The most recent Prevent data reveals that “mixed, unstable or unclear” ideologies now account for more than half of all referrals to the anti-radicalisation strategy and that a quarter relate to far-right extremism. Lewys Brace, who advises the government on extremism, said the Shawcross recommendations did not “reflect what’s going on at all, in any way. Mixed ideologies is where […]
Nadeine Asbali comments on how the leaked findings of the Shawcross review of Prevent have produced findings on mental health that are perhaps the most horrifying. The leak revealed that Prevent is “carrying the weight” of a chronically underfunded mental health service. Money for counter-terror is such a never-ending pot of gold, while funding for mental health is stretched so thinly, that some institutions are referring vulnerable people to Prevent because it will fast-track financial support. This comes as we are in the middle of a mental health epidemic and young people are some of the worst affected with one in six children aged six to sixteen experiencing a mental health condition. Whether maliciously-intended or not, the alarming repercussions of this cannot be understated. Source: Prevent is Islamophobic by design, not accident – New Statesman
The Prevent Duty
The Prevent Duty is championed by the government as an effective strategy to prevent terrorism, however, evidence suggests this is having an adverse effect on communities. Thousands of Prevent referrals are made each year but very few of them lead to any intervention.
Prevent Watch has supported hundreds of people impacted by Prevent. Our case studies show a huge failing of the Prevent Duty. We provide a free helpline with dedicated case workers to support people impacted by the Prevent Duty. We provide access to lawyers, media, research and much more.
A four-year-old boy’s referral to the government’s anti-extremism Prevent strategy after talking about the popular Fortnite video game at his after-school club has prompted fresh calls to abolish the controversial scheme. The boy, who is from the West Midlands and is a Muslim, was referred to Prevent in September 2019 after saying that his father had “guns and bombs in his shed”. However, transcripts of a conversation with a club worker reveal that the reference to weaponry was linked to Fortnite. The child’s mother believes that if her boy were white and not a Muslim he wouldn’t have been considered at risk of radicalisation. In the first (anonymous) interview from a parent of an under-six referred to Prevent, she described her upset at police turning up at the family home at 10.30pm. “It could have gone really wrong. I worry armed police could have come to my house and, you […]
Boy who was referred to Prevent over misinformed ‘terror concerns’ wins case against Met Police | Asian Image
An aspiring doctor who was referred to Prevent over “misinformed” claims that he was “obsessed” with killing David Cameron must have his personal data deleted by the Metropolitan Police, the High Court has ruled. The boy – known only as II – was 11 when a tutor raised concerns in December 2015 that he allegedly wanted to kill the then prime minister, had spoken about “America being evil” and said he “liked Game Of Thrones because of the beheadings”. Officers with the Prevent anti-radicalisation programme spoke to his mother, NK, who said her son had recently written a letter he wanted to send to Mr Cameron which “spoke of peace and unity throughout the world”. Source: Boy who was referred to Prevent over misinformed ‘terror concerns’ wins case against Met Police | Asian Image
5Pillars has been told that two schools in the UK have been trying to train Muslim pupils to effectively spy on each other. Prevent Watch, which monitors the government’s controversial counter-extremism programme, told 5Pillars that the schools, one in Birmingham and one in Slough, have been training, or attempting to train, their pupils in the Prevent strategy. All schools are required to deliver the Prevent duty and “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.” However, it has been assumed until now that teachers are responsible for delivering Prevent and this is the first time that we have heard of pupils themselves being trained to deliver the strategy. 5Pillars spoke to a 17 year old pupil at Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College in Birmingham, which has an overwhelming majority Muslim intake. The student told us that around a month ago his whole year group had been trained to look out […]
What we’re working on
The People’s Review of Prevent
On 12 February 2019, the government committed to carrying out an independent review of Prevent. We explain why the Government’s review of Prevent resulted in a boycott across civic society and the resultant alternative, the People’s Review of Prevent.
The Trojan Horse Affair
The Trojan Horse Affair ensured the Prevent was embedded in legislation under the guise of safeguarding. We analyse the events that unfolded in 2014 to reveal how they impact Prevent as we know it today.
Information and Support
Ways to Support
Your commitment has been vital to assisting hundreds of families across the UK who have been impacted by Prevent.
Prevent Watch appreciates every supporter and donor who helps to keep our helpline and supporting services running. Although we have helped hundreds of individuals we know that thousands of individuals are referred to Prevent each year and we rely on your help to be able to reach every person who needs our support.
We are incredibly grateful for your ongoing support.
Dr Layla Aitlhadj
Director, Prevent Watch