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PREVENT

Essex Police has, and continues to review the measures it takes around Essex to protect the safety of the public and officers, a process that has been ongoing since the change to the UK threat level and heightened concern about the risks facing police officers.

We remain alert to and in contact with our communities across Essex, particularly with our Jewish and Muslim communities, and where we do have concerns, we will make these known to those involved.

Security advice for places of worship can be found here.
 
There is no stereotype for people who hold extremist views. Vulnerability, isolation and personal grievances added to strong political, religious or social views, can result in a person searching for a cause.

PREVENT is part of Essex Police's counter-terrorist strategy and aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism by working with individuals and communities to address issues before they become a criminal matter and to stop people moving from extremism into terrorist-related activity.

The Prevent strategy

  • Responds to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views
  • Provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
  • Works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with

The strategy covers all forms of terrorism, including far right extremism and some aspects of non-violent extremism. However, we prioritise our work according to the risks we face.

Terrorist or Extremist groups

The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has raised the UK National threat level to SEVERE; an attack is highly likely. The threat to the UK from international terrorism has increased, and has been driven by developments in Syria and Iraq.  The situation there is providing an environment for terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al Quaida (AQ) – linked groups, to plan attacks against the West. The availability of a large pool of individuals that have travelled from the UK and Europe to Syria heightens this threat.

As these individuals return to the UK, there is a risk that a terrorist group will have tasked them to conduct attacks or they will seek to conduct attacks on their own initiative.

Safeguarding

Safeguard from what? Radicalisation. People can become vulnerable for many reasons including:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Guilt
  • Loss
  • Isolation
  • Family breakdown
  • Fear
  • Lack of purpose
  • Anger
  • Peer pressure

We are by no means suggesting that one or all of these characteristics or circumstances will drive someone to terrorism.

But they often lead to a sense of injustice – be that on a personal or more far reaching scale. Their vulnerabilities or susceptibilities are then exploited towards crime or terrorism by people who have their own agenda.

Extremist influence

There is no typical gender, age, religion or background that extremists will target but they use a sense of “Duty” (belonging to a specific group) “Status” (need for reputation) and “Spiritual rewards” (test of faith) as a way of drawing them in.

What will those signs of radicalisation look like? They will look a lot like other troubling behaviour.

  • Emotional – angry, mood swings, new found arrogance
  • Verbal – expressing opinions that are at odds with generally shared values
  • Physical – appearance (tattoos), changes in routine

Propaganda activities

Are you safe online, Extremists prey on vulnerable people in the online space, social media and even computer games - Do you know who you’re talking to?

Do you believe everything you read? Do you look for an alternative opinion?

Individuals get drawn in by natural social processes, befriending by charismatic people and extremist speakers.

Illegal activities

A number of illegal activities can occur before an attack including Grooming, Fundraising, Attack planning. If you notice ANYTHING that raises a concern share by calling 101.

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