3 Jun 2008 07:00 AM
£12.5 Million to tackle radicalisation and help prevent extremism in communities

HOME OFFICE News Release (109/2008) issued by The Government News Network on 3 June 2008

New guidance to help and support local authorities, schools, community groups and the police to tackle violent extremism and prevent radicalisation in communities was launched today by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, Communities Secretary Hazel Blears and Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls.

The Government's counter terrorism strategy has a clear focus on preventing people getting involved with violent extremism in the first place. The new guidance offers advice about how to turn the Government's strategy into practical measures that make a real difference in communities. It includes advice about how to work with vulnerable individuals and institutions to counter radicalisation, support mainstream voices and increase the capacity of communities to challenge and resist violent extremists.

To support new initiatives, the Home Office is providing an extra £12.5 million in 2008/9 to fund projects specifically to support institutions or individuals vulnerable to radicalisation. New schemes will include:

* Extending police-led multi agency projects to identify and support vulnerable individuals at risk of being targeted by violent extremists.

* New work to prevent violent extremism, focused on supporting young individuals who have had contact with the criminal justice system.

* Further work in prisons and the community to tackle vulnerability to radicalisation amongst offenders.

* Funding further grassroots projects aimed at tackling radicalisation where it has already occurred.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:

"The national security challenges we face demand fresh approaches.
A key element of our strategy aims to stop people getting involved in extremist violence.

"Only by working together and building on our shared values can we prevent terrorism in the first place. We are investing at local level to build resilient communities, which are equipped to confront violent extremism and support the most vulnerable individuals.

"The new guidance offers all those working in our local communities advice and support on how to turn the Prevent strategy into practical measures and solutions that will make a real difference.

"The Government is investing an additional £12.5m to support more projects in local communities, prisons, schools and youth justice system."

Communities and Local Government Secretary Hazel Blears said:

"Preventing violent extremism is about supporting local people to build resilient communities where extremists and their messages of hate cannot take root.

"Nationally and locally there is a growing alliance against violent extremism. A majority of individuals and organisations are working together to prevent radicalisation and extremism in a small minority of communities. We are putting funding where it is needed and today's new guidance sets out our clear expectations around what local authorities and their partners should achieve.

"Local leadership is vital and it is those people that know their communities best - community leaders, local authorities, police and schools - who, with support from government, provide the key to tackling this issue. Whilst no-one pretends it is easy we are already seeing some fantastic work including projects working with some of the most vulnerable young people, work to strengthen governance in mosques and the capacity of imams and Muslim women beginning to take a stronger role."

Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls said:

"If we are to succeed in tackling the threat from violent extremism in the long term, it is vital that we look to support the next generation of children and young people. That is why the new guidance to local partners emphasises the importance of working with schools and with children's and youth services to support young people to stand up to the tiny minority who are advocating division, hatred and violence, and justifying criminal activity through a distorted interpretation of a peaceful religion.

"Extremists of every persuasion tend to paint the world as black and white, accentuating division and difference, and exploiting fears based on ignorance or prejudice. Education and positive activities for young people can be a powerful weapon against this.

"Giving young people the opportunity to learn about different cultures and faiths, and - crucially - to gain an understanding of the values we share, will help to build mutual respect and tolerance from an early age and create an environment where extremism cannot flourish."

The Home Secretary also announced the 24 forces that will benefit from additional police resources announced earlier this year. The specially trained police officers will work with local community police teams to build important links with communities and also work to counter terrorist related activities.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1) Details of the PDP and new guidelines will be available on the Home Office website.

2) The Government counter terrorist strategy is known as CONTEST and has four main components:
* pursuing terrorists and disrupting the immediate threats we face;
* protecting our infrastructure and our borders;
* preparing for any incident which may occur; and
* preventing radicalisation in the cause of violent extremism.

3) In March this year, the Home Secretary announced extra Counter Terrorism Police officers, who will work with communities to tackle radicalisation. There are 300 Counter terrorism police personnel being rolled across the country. Their role is to investigate all terrorist offences, addressing legitimate grievances and working with neighbourhood policing teams to engage with local communities in order to build trust and confidence. The areas are: Derbyshire; Leicestershire; Nottinghamshire; Northamptonshire; Bedfordshire; Cambridgshire; Hertfordshire; Cleveland; Humberside; Northumbria; West Yorkshire; South Yorkshire; Greater Manchester Police; Lancashire; Merseyside; Surrey; Sussex; Thames Valley; Hampshire; Avon & Somerset; Staffordshire; West Midlands; South Wales; Metropolitan Police Service

4) Ministers made the announcement during a visit to a
community project in Walthamstow, North London, which
has been working with young people aged 17-24 to
challenge violent extremism through leaderships skills, raising
awareness of different politics and religions and encouraging
positive role models.

5) The additional £12.5 is in addition to the £12million already
announced by the Communities Secretary to support local
communities.