Improvements needed to tackle violent extremism in London
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is calling for improved and renewed efforts to tackle the growing threat of radicalisation and far-right extremism in the capital.
Recent research has found that nearly two-thirds of Londoners would not know how to seek support from the authorities if they were worried about an individual being vulnerable to violent extremism.
Khan, who welcomed the recent announcement by ministers of an independent review of the government’s Prevent strategy, pointed to research carried out last year to understand what Londoners’ views and experiences of extremism are, focusing on how they would identify and refer any concerns they had to the police or another authority.
This research forms an early part of the mayor’s Countering Violent Extremism programme and found that 61 per cent of respondents thought that the threat from extremism is increasing and that 25 per cent had witnessed or experienced extremist views in the past 12 months.
Furthermore, 65 per cent of respondents see strong, cohesive and integrated communities as the most effective way of reducing the risk of people carrying out extremist acts, hate crime and terrorism, but 64 per cent would not know how to seek help from the authorities if they were worried about an individual being vulnerable to manipulation or exploitation towards extremism or terrorism.
Khan said: “Violent extremism is one of the biggest threats facing London and our country. We simply must do better at safeguarding the vulnerable and stopping people from promoting these vile ideologies with such horrific consequences.
“There is a role for all of Londoners in tackling the spread of violent extremism, but this research shows that unfortunately, the Prevent programme is failing some of the communities that most desperately need it. I welcome the government’s announcement last week of an independent review of Prevent to ensure a better programme that has greater community confidence. We have to do more to empower communities to speak out and challenge hate crime and extremist views. We need communities to report concerns to the police and local authorities, and find lasting solutions that will stop the spread of violent extremism completely.”