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.

Home Office interference Priti Patel

Middle East Eye: UK Home Office challenged over independence of Prevent review

The UK’s Home Office is facing fresh questions over the credibility and lawfulness of a long-delayed review of its contentious Prevent counter-terrorism strategy after being challenged by a human rights advocacy group over the independence of the process. Rights and Security International (RSI) said on Monday it had written to the Home Office to raise its concerns that the department may have “interfered significantly” in a draft report by reviewer William Shawcross. Caroline Ott, a solicitor at Leigh Day that is representing RSI, said: “Our client has raised serious concerns about the lawfulness of the ongoing independent review of Prevent and considers that the nature of the interactions between the Home Secretary and the independent reviewer may compromise the review’s ‘independence’.” RSI published details of redacted emails obtained from the Home Office through a freedom of information request in which members of the review team discussed dealing with “comments and

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The PROP Expert View: How are we to make sense of Shawcross?

Leaks from the Shawcross review of Prevent say that “Prevent has failed”. Case-based evidence shows that Prevent is not directly involved in preventing terrorism. Rather, it addresses ideas and behaviours that are said to be “indicators” of “risk”. Because Prevent is an early intervention, there can be no evidence that it has successfully dissuaded anyone; indeed this is logically impossible to prove. Indeed, how can one measure “success” and “failure” when the programme itself targets people who are innocent in the law in the first place? Source: how are we to make sense of what shawcross is saying on prevent? – The People Review of Prevent

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PROP Expert View: The TIMES gets it all wrong on Prevent – here’s why

Times columnist, James Forsyth (‘Islamism is a greater threat than the far right’, June 16) seriously misrepresents the government’s Prevent strategy and its relation to counter-terrorism. He writes in anticipation of the publication of the much-delayed Shawcross Report, which makes his piece troubling. James Forsyth believes that the number of far right referrals is disproportionate to the risk when compared with those who have committed terrorist offences. This is factually incorrect; in 2021, out of 186 actual terrorism arrests, over 40% were related to suspected right-wing terrorism. Despite the statistics of actual terror offences showing a problem of far-right in terms of actual suspected offences, Prevent still focuses on Muslims. Source: The TIMES gets it all wrong on Prevent – here’s why

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Al Jazeera podcast: The duel to hold Prevent to account in the UK

After years in operation, the government will release an independent review of Prevent – but it has been boycotted by hundreds of organizations. Instead, many participated in a People’s Review of Prevent. So what does a tale of two reviews tell us about the future of Prevent? Listen to this exclusive Al Jazeera podcast featuring Layla Aitlhadj, Director of Prevent Watch and Professor John Holmwood, author of the book “Countering Extremism in British Schools?: The Truth about the Birmingham Trojan Horse Affair”.   Source: In the UK, a duel to hold ‘Prevent’ to account | Human Rights News | Al Jazeera

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Middle East Monitor: The UK will be complicit in rise of far-right terrorism if it adopts the Shawcross review

It was only a matter of time before a right-wing figure finally revealed the true depth of their agenda by deliberately drawing attention away from the extremists at their end of the political spectrum, writes Muhammad Hussein. That is exactly what William Shawcross, appointed by the British government to lead the review of the Prevent counter-terrorism programme, appears to have done. The extracts from the supposedly independent review, which was delivered to the Home Office in late April, make it a point to focus on that Islamic extremism and the mental health of all individuals referred to Prevent even if there is no actual evidence of extremism. Source: The UK will be complicit in the rise of far-right terrorism if it adopts the Shawcross review – Middle East Monitor

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Prevent ‘reform’ is the latest Tory gift to the Far-Right – Tribune

23 May, 2022 – The leaks of the government-commissioned review of the Prevent strategy demonstrate what is the latest Tory gift to the far-right: the threat of neo-nazism is set to be downgraded despite mounting evidence to the contrary, while social justice campaigns will be targeted. This reveals the extent to which extremist views are being brought into the mainstream. The recent deadly and racist attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York is a clear indication that the ideology ‘the great replacement theory’ which says that ‘foreigners are a demographic threat’ is gaining traction among white supremacist groups. A lot of attention has been cast on US news presenter Tucker Carlson and Fox News as spreading this rhetoric in the US, but less attention is being placed on its proponents in Britain. One prominent voice is the independent reviewer of Prevent, Sir William Shawcross, who has repeatedly made dangerous

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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

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