Prevent Watch

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From capturing bodies to capturing minds. Why the UK’s attempt to tell us that Prevent is ‘safeguarding’ will fail.

Prevent is the UK government’s counter-extremism strategy. It requires public sector workers to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. Those assessed to be ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’ to ‘extremism’ can be referred to Prevent. The policy was first introduced in 2006 by the then Labour government. Under the 2015 Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (CTS), Prevent was made statutory. Since then, the government has been marketing Prevent as a form of safeguarding. This has led to an upsurge in the referrals of young people with a third of those referrals now happening through the education sector. The rules of the game have been slyly extended Over the course of the last 11 years, Prevent has been developed and built upon an Islamophobic core of state surveillance of Muslim communities. It has since widened this reach to any groups among the population who present […]

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Rebels without a Cause? Safeguarding, Risk and Banality in the Prevent Strategy

Prevent is a significant part of the UK’s counterterrorism strategy. It focuses on the early detection of radicalisation. The Counterterrorism and Security Act 2015 placed a statutory duty on the public sector (schools, colleges, doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, social services, probation services, prisons) to train staff to notice signs of radicalisation, and make referrals to the authorities. On the 13th December 2018, the third annual instalment of Home Office statistics for Prevent referrals was made public. 7,318 people were referred to Local Authority Prevent boards in 2017/18.[1] Much in the bulletin replicated statistical reports for previous years. The education sector still refers most people to Prevent (2,426 referrals in 2017/18), and 95% of people referred do not receive deradicalisation mentoring known as Channel support. Yearly reports show us that the vast majority of people referred to Prevent are not judged to actually follow an extreme political or religious ideology, raising serious […]