Croydon high street

Preventing extremism in London

Date published: 
17 December 2015

The Government's Prevent Strategy was first introduced after the 7/7 terrorist attacks in 2005, with the aim of deterring people from participating in, or supporting, violent extremism.

The strategy has been criticised for encouraging police heavy-handedness and spying on members of the public, predominantly in Muslim communities; leading many to see it as discriminatory.

There have also been accusations that money was inadvertently being used to fund activities by extremist individuals and groups because of poor vetting procedures.

The report welcomes the newly formed London CONTEST Board - which will be introduced to oversee the implementation of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy in the capital - and recommends that it ensures all London boroughs are supported to deliver excellent intervention through joined-up working.

This report represents the view of the majority of the Committee. Jenny Jones AM does not support this report. Her views are set out in a minority opinion in Chapter 6.

The report makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • There needs to be a ‘dare to share’ approach to Prevent - regular, open and honest communication with the public about what is happening in London is needed.
  • Londoners should be more involved in discussions about the best ways to prevent extremism across the capital.
  • The London CONTEST Board should explore what is happening across London to tackle online radicalisation and develop strong counter-narratives to tackle extremist messages.