Prevent Watch

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The New Statesman: Britain needs a new paradigm approach to extremism

Attacks by individuals like Jake Davidson, the 22-year-old man who shot dead five people in Plymouth last year, before turning the gun on himself, prove that the greatest emerging threat is not Islamist, but in a rapidly expanding set of so-called mixed, unclear and unstable (MUU) extremism cases that defy neat categorisation by authorities. A large element of this rapid growth has seen Prevent referrals inheriting much of the case load of young people with “complex needs” from underfunded local services. Data from 2021 suggests up to 70 per cent of people referred to Prevent may have mental health issues, and growing numbers of MUU referrals suggest practitioners are struggling to classify these cases within frameworks built to handle clear-cut ideological categories. Events like those in Plymouth speak to a more disparate set of extremism-related threats than the current government approach can capture. They require a new paradigm of response. […]

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Prevent review ‘does not reflect reality’ and must keep focus on far right, say experts – The Guardian

22 May, 2022 – Government advisers on extremism have openly questioned the direction of the Home Office’s counter-terrorism programme after it emerged last week that a review was advocating a crackdown on Islamist extremism rather than the threat of the far right. They questioned why the review of the Prevent strategy carried out by William Shawcross at the behest of the home secretary, Priti Patel, should refocus on Islamism at a time when Prevent referrals over the ideology have fallen to 22%, while a quarter now relate to far-right extremism. The most recent Prevent data reveals that “mixed, unstable or unclear” ideologies now account for more than half of all referrals to the anti-radicalisation strategy and that a quarter relate to far-right extremism. Lewys Brace, who advises the government on extremism, said the Shawcross recommendations did not “reflect what’s going on at all, in any way. Mixed ideologies is where […]