Surge in far-Right extremists reported to authorities as Islamist cases fall

The Telegraph, UK/December 13, 2018

By Charles Hymas

The number of people flagged up to the authorities for far-Right extremism has surged to a record high, new figures reveal.

There was a 36 per cent increase in the number of referrals to the Government’s Prevent programme over concerns about right wing extremism. It jumped from fewer than 1,000 in 2016/17 to 1,312 in 2017/18.

The Home Office figures also revealed a sharp rise in the number of children and teenagers being referred to the programme, up by a fifth to 2,009 including 297 girls.

More than half of those reported for possible deradicalisation interventions in 2017/18 were 20 or under.

The rise in right-wing extremism accounted for an overall 20% increase in referrals to Prevent, from 6,093 to 7,318 in 2017/18.

While Islamist concerns accounted for a larger proportion of referrals, the number in the category fell by 14 per cent year-on-year.

With an annual budget of around £40 million, Prevent aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

When authorities conclude there is a risk that the person could be drawn into terrorism, they can be supported through a scheme known as Channel. Engagement is voluntary and it is not a criminal sanction.

For the first time a similar number of individuals received Channel support for concerns relating to Islamist and right-wing extremism, the report said.

It emerged earlier this month that under-18s was the only age group see a rise in terror-related arrests compared with last year and will raise new concerns about extremism amongst the young fuelled by social media.

"The number of young people getting involved with terrorism surged with Isis who were particularly effective at using social media to radicalise them,” said Richard Walton, a former head of counter terrorism with the Met Police.

"We are also seeing an increase in right wing extremism in part fuelled by Islamist terrorist attacks in London and Manchester in 2017.”

Among the youngest were two 15-year-olds arrested on suspicion of far-Right terror offence in Ramsgate in September.

In 2015, public bodies were placed under a statutory duty to stop people being drawn into terrorism.

The sectors accounting for the highest number of Prevent referrals in 2017/18 were education (2,462) and the police (2,364).

Regionally, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of those referred were from London, followed by the North East (17% per cent.

While police and ministers say it forms a crucial plank of anti-terror efforts, Prevent has repeatedly come under fire, with critics labelling it heavy-handed and "toxic".

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.

Educational DVDs and Videos