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Review highlights series of failings in terror supervision

An independent review has unearthed a catalogue of failings in the way people convicted of terror-related offences are monitored by the authorities in England and Wales.

Launched after convicted terrorist Usman Khan killed two people in an attack in London in November, the review shines a light on ‘gaps’ in the powers used to check up on such offenders and highlights an ‘unreliable’ flow of information about their behaviour, such as remarks ‘glorifying’ terrorism.

Jonathan Hall QC, who conducted the review, said the authorities tended to ‘over-focus’ on the impact of restrictions on offenders when they were let out, rather than considering the ‘overall risk’ they posed. This was emphasised through the prioritising of ‘information exchange’ over ‘active management’, an accusation pointed to the police, the prison service and probation officers.

In the review, Hall criticised a risk assessment tool used by the Prison and Probation Service in England and Wales, which he said ‘seriously minimised’ the severity of terrorism offences and ‘accepted the offender's characterisation (and in some cases denials)’ of their crimes.

Among other problems the report found a ‘significant gap’ in the authorities' ability to monitor the risk of terrorism posed by ‘dangerous’ offenders convicted of non-terror related offences.

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