Prevent Watch

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.

Expert View: How the UK Prevent strategy ‘adultifies’ young children

The UK Prevent strategy is contributing to undue moral panic and harming young people in the name of “counter-terrorism”, writes Prof John Holmwood, co-author of the People’s Review of Prevent. Here’s a summary of his original piece which appeared in the Middle East Eye. The cases of Child Q and other children have cast a light on the “adultification” of Black children, but this approach also features in the UK Prevent strategy, Britain’s counter-extremism tool, although in this case it is applied to ethnic minority children generally. Under Prevent, children are regularly subjected to interviews by counter-terrorism police without a responsible adult being present. This is occurring to thousands of children each year. Yet they are not under suspicion of a terrorism offence, only of potentially coming under the influence of an extremist “ideology”. Children under 15 make up around a third of all referrals (there were 7,318 referrals in

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Middle East Eye: What is the alternative to Prevent?

Prevent doesn’t work and never will. The way forward for the UK rests in the realm of ideas and their healthy expression, not in trying to police thoughts, writes John Holmwood. In the People’s Review of Prevent (published in February this year), we showed that Prevent is not working, but also that it couldn’t work. What, then, is its purpose? Why do some people continue to advocate for it and in terms that involve the hostile name-calling of Prevent’s critics, including that they are extremists and enabling terrorism. The answer is that it serves an ideological and populist purpose by scapegoating minority communities.

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The PROP Expert View: Government’s true face is emerging through its about-turns on Prevent

Prevent was never about safeguarding, but nor is it counter-terrorism, writes Layla Aitlhadj. Even in cases where individuals were potentially victims of other crimes, Prevent conflated and obscured the duty of safeguarding and ignored the perpetrator, to rather focus on the victim. An example of this is when a young boy allegedly being “groomed” online was referred by his teacher; the child was interrogated, his mother pressurised to comply – but not a single thing further was heard about the online “groomer”, the perpetrator in the case. Surely, if Prevent was ever about preventing terrorism, the perpetrator would have been tracked down and dealt with by security services? Source: Government’s true face of aggression is emerging through its about-turns on Prevent – The Peoples Review of Prevent

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Huckmag: ‘I felt interrogated’ – the devastating impact of Prevent in schools

Schools banning certain religious garments and prohibiting congregational prayer may say that they do so in the name of equity and secularism, but as a teacher, I’ve seen how these policies very clearly target Muslim pupils, writes Nadine Asbali. This goes from forcing Muslim children into the cold and rain to fulfil their obligatory prayers, to Muslim mothers being barred from important school events because of how they dress. As the government reviews its ‘anti-terror’ programme, the plight of young Muslims suffering as a result of racist policy could worsen. Source: ‘I felt interrogated’: the devastating impact of Prevent in schools

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Prevent is Islamophobic by design, not accident – New Statesman

Nadeine Asbali comments on how the leaked findings of the Shawcross review of Prevent have produced findings on mental health that are perhaps the most horrifying. The leak revealed that Prevent is “carrying the weight” of a chronically underfunded mental health service. Money for counter-terror is such a never-ending pot of gold, while funding for mental health is stretched so thinly, that some institutions are referring vulnerable people to Prevent because it will fast-track financial support. This comes as we are in the middle of a mental health epidemic and young people are some of the worst affected with one in six children aged six to sixteen experiencing a mental health condition. Whether maliciously-intended or not, the alarming repercussions of this cannot be understated. Source: Prevent is Islamophobic by design, not accident – New Statesman

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