Prevent referrals for rightwing extremism rise by third

New figures have shown that the number of people referred to the UK government’s counter-extremism programme over concerns about far-right activity has risen by 36 per cent. In the year to March 2018, 1,312 individuals were referred to the programme, an increase of 36 per cent on the previous year, and accounting for 18 per cent of all referrals.

Concerns related to Islamist extremism still make up the highest proportion at 44 per cent or 3,197. Channel, which is part of the Prevent strategy, provides specialist support to people who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism. Of the 394 individuals who received Channel support, 45 per cent were referred for concerns related to Islamist extremism and 44 per cent for concerns related to rightwing extremism.

Of the 7,318 recorded as having been referred to Prevent last year, 42 per cent received no further action, 40 per cent were referred to other safeguarding services and 18 per cent were discussed at a Channel panel. Security Minister Ben Wallace said: “Prevent plays a vital role in stopping vulnerable people being drawn into all forms of terrorism and safeguarding is at the heart of it.

Since 2012, the Prevent programme has stopped potentially 1,267 people from going on to become terrorists and harming our society. “The figures released today show Prevent is tackling the threat from radicalisation wherever it is found, including from the rise in the rightwing extremism. Through the Prevent and Channel programme, people who are vulnerable to radicalisation have received the support they need to turn their lives around which has also helped keep our communities safe.”