The Home Secretary is planning ‘root and branch’ reform of the Government’s controversial deradicalisation programme amid fears that large areas of the country are dangerously unprotected from extremists.
In the biggest shake-up of the Prevent strategy since its launch in 2003, Priti Patel has proposed dividing England and Wales into nine regional hubs. Dedicated teams would operate from extremist ‘hot spots’ within each.
Officials believe it will give Prevent officers better access to extremists in rural areas and allow for the rapid deployment of teams in the event of an attack.
The review was ordered after intelligence highlighted the changing nature of extremism in Britain, with an increasing number of Islamic terrorist offenders living in neighbourhoods outside traditional Muslim areas, and most far-Right extremists based in areas with little or no previous extremist activity. There has also been a significant rise in the number of far-Left, animal rights and environmental extremists and those with ‘no fixed ideologies’.