Prevent Watch

The government’s terror strategy ‘compromises the Mental Health Act and must be challenged’

UK data on race racism

Add to this how, in 2015, the Home Office made the Prevent policy [Prevent is a controversial programme that aims to divert people from terrorism before they offend, and is currently voluntary] a statutory duty for public bodies to have ‘due regard’ in identifying and reporting patients deemed vulnerable to radicalisation. Doing so, the UK government has designated healthcare settings a ‘pre-criminal space’. Elusive terms such as extremism and radicalisation have racial connotations in public consciousness, associated primarily with the Muslim ‘other’. Add to this the securitisation of integration discussions with the Prevent policy’s insistence on ambiguous ‘British Values’, it is unsurprising then that British Muslims are 40 times more likely to receive a Prevent referral than someone who is not a Muslim– despite the increased emphasis on the far-right. Now, an individual vulnerable to ill-defined radicalisation who is sectioned under the Mental Health Act will continue to have their information shared with the local authority outside the hospital setting if this is deemed necessary.

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