Mayor steps up efforts to counter violent extremism
A new City Hall programme to counter violent extremism in London will start in early 2018, aiming to stop the spread of hateful ideologies and help keep the capital safe.
Announced by Mayor Sadiq Khan today, the ambitious programme is designed to improve efforts to counter violent extremism in London, from far-right groups to the so-called Islamic State or Daesh.
The UK has seen an unprecedented shift in the terrorist threat, with four attacks in the capital in 2017 - at Westminster, London Bridge, Finsbury Park and Parsons Green - and many others thwarted.
Despite London’s diversity and inclusiveness, some communities remain marginalised and disengaged, allowing hateful ideologies to spread with sometimes tragic consequences.
The Countering Violent Extremism programme, which will run throughout 2018, has three aims:
- Strengthen London’s minority and marginalised communities
- Safeguard vulnerable people in London
- Stop the spread of extremist ideologies
As well as reviewing existing counter-terrorism work in London, the City Hall programme will carry out an in-depth consultation with experts, local authorities, communities and others to identify operational improvements that can be made as quickly as possible.
“I am determined to do everything in my power to improve the work that safeguards the vulnerable and roots out and stops the people who are spreading vile ideologies and promoting terror with such violent and tragic consequences,” Sadiq said.
“This means engaging with Londoners to see what more we can all do to strengthen, integrate and empower communities to speak out and challenge hate crime and extremist views,” he said.
One of the Mayor’s first acts in office was to launch an independent review of London’s preparedness to deal with a major terrorist incident.
The Lord Toby Harris Review identified several areas for improvement, including strengthening security along the Thames and making better use of CCTV in emergencies. Two thirds of these recommendations are already in place, while more are underway.