Sunak’s proposals to classify anyone who “vilifies” Britain as an “extremist” betray an ignorance regarding how counter-extremism harms innocent people. But a closer look at the stats reveal deeper truths. Statistics for the past year up to March this year from the Home Office state that of the 196 arrests for terrorist-related activity, 55 (28%) were subsequently charged for terrorism-related offences. Moreover, the number of white people arrested for terrorist activity increased from last year, and are four times higher than Asian people. So, when Sunak asserts that “80% of live counter terror investigations” are of “Islamists”, what we should be asking is: why are 80% of the terrorism investigations centred on Muslims when arrests of presumably British white people are four times higher? Source: Surely this is the last desperate attempt to revive prevent? – The People Review of Prevent
The contender’s plan is idiotic and dangerous. Aren’t Tories supposed to champion free speech, says Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain. The implication of his proposals seems to be that any public sector worker covered by the Prevent duty would be required to refer anyone they believe is “vilifying” to the authorities. Would this include nationalists in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, some of whom would readily vilify England? If not, why not? What about writers within our mainstream media, in publications such as the Spectator? Would Sunak’s policy include those who have non-mainstream political views on our nation’s colonial history? Source: Sunak wants to punish those who ‘vilify the UK’. That’s wrong – and he’s chosen the wrong target | Miqdaad Versi | The Guardian
Rishi Sunak’s proposals to strengthen the government’s anti-terrorism programme risk “straying into thought crimes” and are potentially damaging to national security, a former senior police chief has said. Such proposals would lead to more people being referred to Prevent by widening the definition of “extremism” to include those who “vilify” Britain, with Sunak pledging to focus on “rooting out those who are vocal in their hatred of our country”. But former counter-terrorism chief Sir Peter Fahy, who was also chief constable of Greater Manchester police, questioned the precise meaning of “vilification”. He said: “The widening of Prevent could damage its credibility and reputation. It makes it more about people’s thoughts and opinions.” Source: Former counter-terrorism police chief attacks Rishi Sunak’s Prevent plans | Rishi Sunak | The Guardian
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