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 […]
6 Oct 2022 – Since 2008, Criminology at Leicester has invited high profile guest speakers to deliver papers on current issues in criminology, criminal justice, policing and community safety. This year’s Scarman lecture is entitled “Scarman lecture 2022: Preventing equal participation. How the government’s Prevent strategy undermines democracy” and took place on 28 September 2022. Here’s a snippet from the talk given as part of the Scarman Lecture at the University of Leicester by Layla Aitlhadj and Prof. John Holmwood. Source: The Scarman Lecture 2022: How Prevent undermines democracy – The People Review of Prevent
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
While, in principle, few would disagree with the notion of trying to stop people being drawn towards terrorist ideas and action, in practice this means engaging with people through the lens of a counter terrorist programme before they have actually committed any terrorist act. It can feel like people are being seen through a criminal lens before any criminal act has actually taken place. The answer to dealing with the reality of extremist tendencies might lie in some fundamental changes to our society. It is unclear that Prevent will be able to address this, writes Raffaello Pantucci. Source: Police Professional | An MP’s murder: The failure of the Prevent programme?