Prevent Watch


The Humanitarian Worker Case

Sector: PoliceDate: February 2015Gender: FemaleLocation: North East RE is a 20-year-old nursery nurse who was travelling from the United Kingdom to provide humanitarian aid. She was subsequently subject to a schedule 7 stop under the Terrorism Act [2000]. During the stop, she said she was travelling abroad for humanitarian reasons. She was asked a number of questions such as her opinions of the events happening in Iraq and Syria, which mosque she attends, where she learns her Islamic knowledge and whether she believes in voting. Following the stop, RE had been receiving visits at home, which she described as “weekly visits from the police.” After a number of visits, she was visited by a Muslim individual who said that she wanted “to make sure she gets her Islamic knowledge from the right place” and insisted she was not under any criminal investigation. For example, she told RE that travelling without […]


The College Student Case

Sector: Education and childcare Date: July 2015 Gender: Male Location: West Midlands SJ is a 19-year-old college student who was reported to the police by his College. Police officers from West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit went to SJ’s home twice when he was not there and proceeded to send text messages to his mother until the family agreed to a meeting. SJ did not know why the Counter-Terrorism Unit was approaching him but felt that it was because he had recently become more religious in his appearance, for example, by wearing a thawb (a long garment). During the home visit, the officers mentioned that part of their role was to ‘prevent people, mainly young men, from going to Syria’. The officers confirmed that it was the College that had contacted them with a number of concerns- majority of which were manifestly tied to SJ’s religion. This became clear when SJ was informed that […]


The Hijab Case

Sector: Education and childcare Date: July 2016 Gender: Female Location: North West   BE is 10 years old. While she was at Hajj with her family, she decided to start wearing the hijab. On her return to school the head teacher requested the family attend a meeting to discuss an alleged ‘uniform violation’. BE’s mother was advised during the meeting to stop BE from wearing the hijab and that BE would be better suited to wearing it when she was at high school where nobody knew her. BE’s mother was shocked and overwhelmed by this. The school sent the following in a letter to the parents:     BE’s mother made formal complaints against the school. BE’s mother was then asked to attend a meeting regarding the complaint. BE’s mother was informed that BE was the ‘’ringleader’’ of negative activities during religious lessons. It transpired that BE had asked if […]


The Fire Alarm Case

Sector: Education and childcare Date: December 2016 Gender: Male Location: East of England JT is 16 years old. He was at school on the playground with his friends when the fire alarm went off. One of JT’s friends sarcastically said to him ‘’why did you blow up the school again?’’ JT responded in a similar way that ‘’Shush don’t let them know’’. JT’s teacher then asked whether this was an appropriate thing to say but JT did not hear her properly as the other children were laughing and joking around him. The next day, JT and his friend were called into the office. There were three teachers in the room, one of whom had a written a statement about what had happened during the fire alarm. The teacher stated that someone had said ‘’Insha’Allah, Allahuakbar Brother Omar’’ which was a quote from the film Four Lions. JT’s friend was asked if […]


The Nice Attack Discussion

Sector: Education and childcare Date: July 2016 Gender: Male Location: West Midlands AC is 17 years old. There was a discussion in class concerning the Nice attack with AC’s tutor and a few other students. While AC said that the attack was bad, he also said that he could understand why the attacker had done what he did. AC then clarified that he was referring to racism and social deprivation faced by North African immigrants in France, which lead to feelings of despair. The school said they had clarified the comments with AC and acknowledged that it was just clumsy use of words. However, after contacting the local PREVENT lead about the matter, the school decided to refer AC to the local authority. Prevent Watch supported the family and provided AC’s father with information concerning PREVENT and informed him about the Channel Programme. Furthermore, Prevent Watch provided AC’s father with information concerning his […]


The Religious Studies Video Case

Sector: Education Date: February 2016 Gender: Female Location: South East AB is 11 eleven years old and attends secondary school. During her religious studies class, the teacher introduced the topic of multiculturalism in society; in particular what has taken place in the schools locale. The children were shown a video but only watched about a minute and a half of the full 5 minutes of the video. The clip introduced statistics on the number of residents in the locality and the percentage that was Muslim. The clip continued with a text, which states “following series of high profile cases related to Islamic extremism, [the] Council formulated a new strategy to tackle religious supremacism within their local Muslim community.” There were a series of mini clips highlighting the reason behind the new initiative. The clips were followed by this text “the idea was to show the rest of the country that if non-Muslims […]

The Anti-War Protest Case

Sector: Police Date: December 2014 Gender: Male Location: South Yorkshire MM supported the government’s decision to go to war in Iraq 2003. He was enthusiastically supportive of the government’s armed forces. However, he became aware of a number of atrocities committed by British service personnel and his support for the war diminished. Overtime, he became anti-war and a self-confessed pacifist and performed a number of protests in a non-violent and peaceful manner, including flying the Iraqi flag to the Irish tri color flag. A Prevent officer subsequently visited MM’s home and he was asked about why he was protesting and why he was flying these particular flags. Later on, MM was in the vicinity of an army recruitment centre raising awareness about the death of Baha Mousa at the hands of the British military. After the protest MM had another meeting with the Prevent officer who told MM it was because of […]

Community Group & Government Funding

Sector: Education and childcare Date: March 2016 Location: South East OFM is a grassroots community co-operative made up of volunteers from its locality. They focus on building economic development and regeneration practices to benefit the local community. As part of delivering these adult learning courses, OFM was granted funding by a body whose core funding comes from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. To receive the funding, OFM were informed that they were required to attend the Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) training. OFM were unaware that this was an obligation to receive the funding. OFM decided that they did not wish to attend the training. OFM said that the Prevent programme is viewed with suspicion by a large section of the local community. OFM said that engaging with such a programme would destroy the trust and respect that the organisation relies upon to engage with sections […]

T-Shirt Case

Sector: Education (t-shirt) Date: February 2016 Gender: Male Location: Greater London MK was 8 years old in year 4 at a primary school in London.  MK had worn a t-shirt which read “when I grow up I want to be like…” on the front and “Abu Bakr as-Siddique 1” on the back. He had worn this t-shirt on a number of occasions before. MK happened to have worn this t-shirt on the anniversary of the 7/7 bombings while on a school trip to the Princess Diana Memorial Park in central London. The Deputy Head Teacher was quoted as saying the t-shirt was “inappropriate” to wear and MK was requested to take the t-shirt off and wore his hoody throughout the day. The mother of MK recalls how the incident was realised: Later that afternoon after school I had noticed my son in this hooded cardigan and told him to take […]


The “terrorist house” Case

prevent, terrorist house Sector: Education Date: February 2016 Gender: Male Location: Greater London Raheem, a 10 year old boy, was asked to make up a fictional character as part of an English lesson. To help develop the fictional character the teacher had asked the children to respond to some specific questions about the character, the following two are significant. Raheem named his piece ‘Cheeky Charlie’ and responded in the following way: What makes you feel gloomy or down-in-the-dumps? I hate it when my uncle hits me. What sort of place do you live in? I live in a terrorist house with my uncle. (Source: Original Writing of 10 Year Old Boy) Raheem and family have been interviewed and provided some startling insights into what happened: the next day a Social Worker and a Police Officer visited his home He had watched a movie where the uncle hits the boy the police asked about terrorism the police […]