Mark Conrad 28 March 2023

Councils warning over Prevent reforms

Councils warning over Prevent reforms image
Image: M-SUR/Shutterstock.com.

Councils have raised serious concerns about the Government’s proposed Prevent counter-extremism strategy reforms, warning Muslim communities could disengage and local authorities risk fresh costs.

The Local Government Association’s (LGA) safer and stronger communities board last week outlined council responses to the recent independent review of Prevent by William Shawcross.

Mr Shawcross made 34 proposals – all accepted by ministers – including increasing the focus on counter-terrorism over wider extremism and on individuals ‘susceptible’ to radicalisation.

He also urged ministers to focus on ideology as a driver for terrorism and less on other contributing factors, such as mental health.

Ex-communities minister Baroness Warsi - Britain’s first female Muslim Cabinet minister - has already attacked the Government’s proposed reform of Prevent, warning Whitehall risks creating a ‘hierarchy of extremism,’ with a distorted focus on Islamist extremism above all others.

Local authorities have told the LGA they have heard ‘considerable concerns from Muslim communities that they have been unfairly targeted’.

The LGA warned: ‘Some previously cooperative groups may no longer be willing to engage with councils around Prevent.’

Ministers are expected to implement their Prevent reforms this year.

This article was originally published by The MJ (£).

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