“By dividing, stigmatizing and alienating segments of population, Prevent could end up promoting extremism, rather than countering it” United Nations
The Prevent duty has created a further securitized state in which public sector workers are trained to spots signs of ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ and to refer people to Prevent.
Prevent is a failed and counter-productive policy based on flawed science which was never meant to be used on such a wide scale. Over 140 experts signed an open letter criticising the science from which the “risk factors” used in Prevent derive. Prevent is based on a flawed understanding of ‘radicalisation’ and is focused on ideology rather than other factors, such as domestic and foreign policy grievances, which research, including statements by former Deputy Director General of MI5, shows play a greater role in politically motivated violence but which the Government continues to ignore.
As a result, there have been serious human rights and civil liberties concerns raised about Prevent, which statistics show has predominantly been used to target Muslims and silence dissent impacting thousands each year. Prevent has caused irreversible damage from schools to healthcare. Prevent has had a toxic effect across the board as parents and children have lost confidence and trust in authorities, while university students are now self-censoring as a result of Prevent’s chilling effect.