Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Referrals to anti-terror Prevent scheme double after spate of attacks

Police received around 200 referrals from April to the end of July, coinciding with a string of terror attacks in London and Manchester.

The number of potential extremists flagged up by members of the public to the Government’s anti-terror Prevent scheme has doubled after Britain was hit by a flurry of attacks.

Police received around 200 referrals to the programme from within communities from April to the end of July.

This compared with around 100 recorded in the previous four months.

The rise in tip-offs coincides with the spate of terrorist incidents that began with the Westminster atrocity on March 22, followed by attacks in Manchester, London Bridge and Finsbury Park.

Prevent is a voluntary programme which aims to intervene early to stop people being drawn into violent extremism.

Disclosing the latest figures, Simon Cole, the national policing lead for the initiative, welcomed the rise in referrals.

But he appealed for more support from the public and urged relatives, friends and community leaders not to wait until after a major incident to raise concerns.

Mr Cole said: “We have recently seen the devastating effects of what can happen when radicalisation is allowed to fester unchecked.

“On the one hand it is encouraging that more people are contacting police with their referrals.

“But if we are to successfully stop vulnerable people from being drawn into violent extremism, then family members, friends and community leaders must trust us sooner with their concerns.

“Not only will that possibly stop another lethal terrorist attack from taking place, but it will also potentially prevent vulnerable people from being drawn into criminal activity from which there is no coming back.”

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph