Positive Image and Countering Violent Extremism

Meeting: 
MQT on 2019-02-25
Session date: 
February 25, 2019
Reference: 
2019/3806
Question By: 
Jennette Arnold OBE
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The means of questioning described by the Guardian1 is one of singling children out from their peers (by being taken out of lessons) and then being questioned by police alone. This led to feelings of humiliation and vulnerability as described in the article. I understand that your Countering Violent Extremism programme has highlighted that Prevent can alienate some communities.2 How will your Countering Violent Extremism Programme combat this feeling of alienation and will it propose specific improvements to processes within Prevent which could be seen to alienate some communities?

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/27/prevent-muslim-community-discrimination?CMP=share_btn_link

https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-calls-for-effort-to-tackle-violent-extremism

Answer

Positive Image and Countering Violent Extremism

Positive Image and Countering Violent Extremism

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I asked my Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programme to deliver a full and frank assessment of existing counter extremism activity (including that of Prevent). Initial findings showed that whilst good work is delivered by the strategy, significant improvements need to be made to increase trust across some London communities and avoid the stigmatisation and alienation of entire ethnic, religious or cultural groups.

There is a role for all of Londoners in tackling the spread of violent extremism, but initial findings from my programme show that unfortunately, the Prevent strategy is failing some of the communities that most desperately need it. I welcome the recent government announcement of an independent review of Prevent to ensure a better programme that has greater community confidence and engagement.

My CVE programme will make recommendations around the need for improved and renewed efforts to strengthen communities; safeguard the vulnerable and stop the spread of extremist ideology. We will continually seek and take account of the views of London’s communities, ensuring that those elements of counter radicalisation work that are successful are built upon and used effectively; and those that are not, or could be done better, are revised and improved.