The coupling of public services with Prevent not only destroys the trust that is essential in these sectors, but it disturbs crucial power dynamics for trust.
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.
Risks posed by new technological advancements, particularly those developed with counter terrorism policy, is the central theme of a report to the UN by the special rapporteur.
Authorities are quick to label terrorist attacks as such. But why did they take so long to call the bombing of an immigration processing building a terrorist attack when the perpetrators hateful views had been broadcast online? And why have the UK prime minister and home secretary so far not said a word about this when it is the role of the authorities to condemn terrorist attacks? An editorial in The Muslim News highlights how counter terrorism police delayed classifying the October firebombing of the Western Jet Foil immigration processing centre in Dover as a terrorist incident despite being called in to lead the investigation. Moreover, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declined to comment, as did the newly reinstated Home Secretary, Suella Braverman. They have been deathly silent ever since. The terrorist attack targeting immigrants occurred at a time when Braverman had provocatively described illegal immigration as an out-of-control invasion. Braverman
Recently, Prevent Watch spoke about Prevent to parents who had gathered to discuss changes in the school curriculum with regards RSE.
The National Association of Muslim Police is now publicly calling for an update of policing and counter terrorism terminology, with the term Islamist to be replaced by ‘anti-western extremism’ or something similar. It has also raised concerns about the disproportionate number of Muslims being referred to Prevent, the government’s counter extremism programme – with the West Midlands among the highest. Alex Gent, Chairman of the NAMP says Islamophobia remains an issue in wider UK policing. The group cited cases where Muslim officers had been referred to Prevent wrongly by their own colleagues after religious pilgrimages or following acceptance of Islam. The group says it has previously raised concerns over the use of ‘Islamist’ and ‘Islamism’ with police chiefs and politicians, including with former Home Secretary Priti Patel. But it has now gone public after no agreement to drop the words. Source: Muslim cops label counter terrorism policing ‘Islamophobic’ – Birmingham
Reappointed communities secretary Michael Gove opposes settling on a definition of Islamophobia, claiming it would bring ‘dangers’. The Independent’s home affairs editor Lizzie Dearden writes on Twitter that “Gove said he wanted to target “political Islam”, which he called a “virus”. He claimed there was “resistance in Whitehall”. Source: Government drops work towards official Islamophobia definition promised to combat anti-Muslim hatred in 2019 | The Independent
More than 1,000 BAME young men who were on a controversial Met police list even though they were classed as posing little or no risk of violence, have been removed. Current Metropolitan Police chief Mark Rowley said the list of alleged gang members “amplified disproportionality” and must be radically reformed. The gang violence matrix was branded part of a “racialised war” on gangs by Amnesty International and was found potentially to be breaching data laws by the information commissioner and placed men on it who should not have been there. Those on it could be subject to “Al Capone-style” disruption tactics, such as losing housing, or driving licences, as part of “lawful harassment”. Source: Met police chief to reform list of alleged gang members targeting black men | Metropolitan police | The Guardian
Sir Mark Rowley becomes leader of the Metropolitan police knowing its problems are so severe, with public confidence so low, that failure to reform may make him the last commissioner of the force as we know it, writes Vikram Dodd. Already there is renewed talk of taking away the Met’s status as the national lead for counter-terrorism so that it can better focus on serving London’s communities. And the Met commissioner is the only police chief answering to two bosses – the London Mayor and the Home Secretary. Source: New Met chief faces urgent task to rebuild public trust | The Guardian
Manchester bombing accused Salman Abedi and his closest family were part of Libyan militias benefiting from British covert military support six years before he murdered 22 people at the Manchester Arena in 2017. He was 16 at the time, reports Mark Curtis. The UK facilitated the flow of arms to Libyan rebel militias at the time, and helped train them, in a programme outsourced to its close ally, the Gulf regime of Qatar. This echoes claims by the legal team representing families of the deceased in the Manchester bombing, who have suggested that the bomb was due to a failure of the security services to act, and family members have accused Mi5 of ‘obfuscation and cover up‘ . Source: Manchester bomber was a UK ally
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