The much awaited William Shawcross review of Prevent has now been released and, after having examined it's contents, we at Groundswell feel this is a bit of a missed opportunity. We welcome extending the Prevent duty to other partners, such as job centres and the UK border force, further professionalisation of Prevent practitioners and better co-ordination and oversight in central government.
However, the causes, manifestations and solutions to tackling extremism are still not fully understood and we overlook the importance of this at our peril. Radicalisation remains a form of exploitation that occurs when communities fail to provide compassion, connection, cohesion and appropriate education for all their members. As such, the solution to tackling radicalisation lies in joint-up approaches that engage community groups, the third sector and statutory partners in an effort to offer belonging, understanding and awareness to all those who may be vulnerable and susceptible regardless of race, gender or religion. We need to confront hate with kindness and anger with love.
Prevent also needs to remain threat agnostic in order to be credible, effective and to gain buy in at a local level. The strategy must be guided by the data and be agile enough to be applied to new and emerging forms of extremism, such as misogynist extremism which is currently on the rise, rather than being pushed towards any particular manifestation of extremism.
We at Groundswell remain committed to tackling the root causes of extremism by working with communities across the UK to help build strong local infrastructure that can act as a safety blanket for those who may be targeted by extremism propaganda and recruitment efforts. We will continue to place compassion at the heart of everything we do and support key stakeholders who are needed to build strong and cohesive communities.