The Prevent review shows the system needs a complete overhaul

One of the most surprising things to come out of today’s independent review of Prevent, the government’s flagship counter-terrorism programme, is how much of its activities have nothing to do with terrorism.  The scheme was created by politicians to stop people from being radicalised into terrorism. Yet according to William Shawcross’s landmark review, the reality is that the programme spends much of its time and energy focused on subjects outside of terrorism.  When broken down, the referrals to Prevent of course comprise people drawn to jihadist and neo-Nazi worldviews. But there was another, somewhat inexplicable category that few outside of the programme could find out very much about, labelled: Mixed, Unclear, Unstable,

Prevent and the problem of ‘political correctness’

Britain is reviewing its cornerstone anti-terror programme. As the name implies, Prevent is a strategy designed to stop radicalisation before it metastasises into killer intent. But how well is it working? There have been accusations that Prevent is discriminatory. Groups such as Liberty and the Muslim Council of Britain have criticised the anti-terror strategy for targetting Muslims, arguing that it has caused hurt to Britain’s Islamic communities. But there are also criticisms that, even on its own terms, the Home Office programme isn’t working as well as it should. Dame Sara Khan, the social cohesion tsar, last week warned that efforts to tackle Islamist extremism are being hampered by ‘political

How can we save youngsters from getting radicalised?

Arrests for terrorist-related activity give a worrying insight into the rate at which young people are being targeted and radicalised. All age groups witnessed a fall in terror-related arrests for the year ending September 2020, except for one: those under eighteen, which doubled to account for eight (and subsequently 10) per cent of all such arrests. This is the highest proportion ever seen in any annual period to date. We also know that, all too often, the friends and relatives of those who are in danger of becoming radicalised are failing to act on their concerns. Referrals to Prevent, which aims to ‘stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism’, saw