Prevent Watch

People's Review of Prevent

The People's Review of Prevent

The People’s Review of Prevent is an alternative review to the Government Shawcross Review.

This review provides a voice to the people most impacted by the Prevent Duty.
Prevent is described as ‘safeguarding’ children from harms. However, under Prevent, safeguarding is focused on protecting the wider public from children believed to be ‘risky’, rather than protecting children from harms.

Throughout our report we present case studies that show how real these harms can be and the distress they cause to children and their families and carers.

Postgraduate student on Terrorism

Date: April 2015 Gender: Male Location: Staffordshire Case Study – MF On 23 March 2015, a postgraduate student in Terrorism, Crime and Global Security at Staffordshire University was approached by two female staff while in the library – the three had a brief discussion on Shari’a, British values and democracy – this conversation was initiated by the female staff and is questionable whether it was a test for extremism. The tense conversation ended, and after a short while a security guard approached the student, confirming that he had received a complaint from staff members. The staff told the security guard that “there is a man, who is Asian and with a beard, who is not a student and is reading book on terrorism”. The staff went further to say, “check him out”, as she suspected he is a “radical terrorist”. The security guard approached and recognised the student, and did

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Presentation on Islamic State concept

Date: May 2015 Gender: Male Location: London Case study: XX XX, a young teenager in secondary school, delivered a short presentation on the concept of the Islamic State, as he wanted to dispel the media narratives of ISIS equating to the concept historically. The presentation was held during form time, and the class, including the tutor enjoyed the presentation – the presentation included topics such as architecture, civilisation, and public administration in society. The teacher went further and sent a letter home, congratulating the parents on their son’s fantastic presentation on the concept of the historical Islamic State. However, a few days later, the head of year heard about the presentation from another source and took issue with it, calling the student into her office, and asking, ‘do you know what extremism means’? Moreover, the head of year, made a telephone call to XX’s family to say they had concerns

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School library book

Date: February 2015 Gender: Male Location: Portsmouth Cast study: ZM ZM is 16 years old, and currently in year 11 in a school located in Portsmouth. PREVENT officers have heavily engaged with this school on “extremism” and “radicalisation” issues. There is a strong climate of PREVENT officers visiting the school regularly, questioning students within and outside of school. ZM’s mother described her son as disinterested in Islam, and she was surprised that PREVENT officers would approach him. On 23 February 2015, ZM intended to take out a library book on the topic of terrorism, among three other books. However, the librarian observed ZM’s book selection from afar, and took the books away from ZM’s possession without his knowledge. The librarian then informed the principle of the school, which led to a referral to the local PREVENT officer. It is important to note that the terrorism book in question was a

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Reflective Homework Piece

Date: March 2015 Gender: Male Location: Birmingham Case study – AA In a case based in Birmingham, a Muslim primary school referred a child of 8 years old to PREVENT’s Channel programme  – which systematically attempts to de-radicalise individuals at risk of being extremists – due to a concerning reflective homework piece, which referenced violence and guns. When the parents of the child were approached, the offer of assistance was declined as the parents did not believe that the child displayed a marker of extremism. The father said AA was interested in guns and fighting due to the Marvel cartoons he watches on television and this may have transcended to his reflective homework piece. Channel is voluntary, and hence the parents decided to not consent to sending their son on the programme. AA’s father mentioned that the social services and a member of the local council visited the family home,

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Primary School’s Counter-Extremism Survey

Date: May 2015 Gender: Male Location: London Case Study – XX A Buxton Primary School in East London has given its school children what is best described as a ‘counter-extremism survey’. The survey included questions focusing on religious, ethical and views of children taking part. This is specifically as a result of “preventing individuals from drawing into terrorism” by virtue of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2015, and the new PREVENT duty introduced on 1 July 2015. There is no denying that the survey is highly Islamophobic. It is discriminatory and concerning that schools are questioning children in primary years on their beliefs – the survey is overtly targeted at Muslims. Posing questions to children concerning whether they trust the police or people from another religion is unreasonable. Moreover, the survey asked, “how do you feel about the following statements”: “It’s never okay to use physical force to solve a problem”, “People from a

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