Security Minister Tom Tugenhut tells MPs that ‘soft prejudice’ could breed tolerance for Islamic extremism


Security Minister Tom Tugenhut said the UK government’s underreporting of concerns about Islamic extremism in its prevention program could be due to “low expectations bias”.

Tugendhat told parliament’s special committee on interior affairs on Wednesday that a kind of “gentle prejudice” made tolerance for Islamist extremism possible.

Last month, an independent review of the Prevent strategy found that it “does not do enough to counter non-violent Islamic extremism” and that it “does a double-edged sword in dealing with extreme right-wing and Islamism.” I discovered that I have a standard.

The review was ordered by former Home Secretary Priti Patel in 2019, and her successor, Suera Braverman, said the government would accept all 34 recommendations of the report.

Braverman described the 188-page review, led by William Shawcross, former chairman of the Charity Committee, as “fantastic” and “unwavering”.

She added that it showed that prevention strategies were influenced by “cultural cowardice” and “institutional hesitation” to fear being accused of Islamophobia.

The report recommends a series of reforms to the Prevent and Channel Panels established by the Labor government of former Prime Minister Tony Blair shortly after 9/11 in 2003 to attempt to de-radicalize vulnerable populations. doing.

Shawcross report (pdf) said it “must return to its overarching purpose of preventing individuals from becoming or supporting terrorism.”

Asked why there were more references to far-right ideology than radical Islam, Tugendhat said Wednesday he had several theories. Some communities, not others. I think that’s what the prejudice about low expectations is. ”

Prevent’s director Michael Stewart said more incidents came from the far right than Islamic extremists. This contrasts with MI5 and the police, who found about 75% of their caseload to be Islamist and 20% to the Far Right.

Stewart said the Shawcross review identified that disparity, but “the report doesn’t really explain why that’s the case. So we did a fair amount of talking about it. We are in a position to collect data so that we can better understand it.”

Tory’s backbench MP James Daly told Tugendhat that after 20 years, Prevent “didn’t work”.

Tugendhat objected to this, stating: But seeing how it was able to keep some people away from violent extremism, it has to be considered a success. ”

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Sir Mark Rowley (R), the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and Baroness Louise Casey before answering questions from members of the London Parliament at City Hall, East London, 22nd March 2023. (PA)

Earlier, Baroness Louise Casey told the same commission that she felt police were not “moving into the 21st century” like other industries such as education and social services.

On Tuesday, Casey released a scathing review that said there was “systemic racism, misogyny and homophobia” in the London Metropolitan Police.

Sir Mark Rowley, the London Metropolitan Police Commissioner, apologized for disappointing Londoners, but said the word ‘institutional’ had become political and ambiguous in recent years.

The London Metropolitan Police’s standards of conduct and internal culture overhaul came last year after Met Police officer Wayne Cousins ​​was sentenced to life tariffs for kidnapping, raping and murdering 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard. entrusted.

On Wednesday, Casey told Congress it was “disappointing” that Lowry had reacted the way he did and felt he was “ripping his hair out” when he rejected the accusation of institutional bias. .

She said it felt like a “missed opportunity” and hoped he would soon accept her “diagnosis” of the organizational problems facing the MET.

The Met is ‘arrogantly long and humbly very low’

Casey said, “When we arrived at the Metropolitan, we found ourselves in an institution that had long been arrogant and had very little humility.”

Regarding the killing of Sarah Everard by a military officer, Casey said: Therefore, you will see yourself as an organization and ask yourself a myriad of questions. ”

Mr Casey said the Metropolitan Police need to undergo a drastic reform, drawing comparisons to the transformation of the Royal Ulster Police Station when it became Northern Ireland Police following the Good Friday Accords.

“What’s really interesting is that the police haven’t moved into the 21st century like other police forces,” she said.

Casey said it was acceptable for pedophiles to try to find jobs “closer to children” in both the education and children’s social services sectors, and that systems were in place to prevent them from attracting the “wrong people.” has been introduced.

Casey: Police can attract people who ‘want to abuse their power’

She said police are unaware that some people may be attracted to the job because they “want power and actually want to abuse it.”

Casey’s review found that violence against women and girls is not taken as seriously as other forms of violence. This quoted the testimony of an officer who told investigators that an entire team of experienced and professional detectives would be assigned to investigate the murder while the woman was being raped. If placed in a coma, it may be handled by a single Trainee Detective Constable.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said it was “really important” that Metropolitan Airlines must “accept the recommendations” of Casey’s report if they are to have a future.

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An undated police mugshot of metropolitan police officer David Carrick, who last admitted to 49 serious sex crimes at Southwark Crown Court, London on 16 January 2023. (Hertfordshire Police)

Interior Secretary Suela Braverman said the funding will be increased to ensure that the Metropolitan receives all the support it needs from the central government, and that all units should be given “common sense to deter crime and protect public safety.” He urged them to focus unremittingly on their police work.”

She also said she would hold the Metropolitan accountable and asked the public to judge them by their actions, not their words.

Mr Lowry said in January that he planned to write an open letter to Braverman and Khan at the end of March, by which time the Metropolitan Police would “check details with all police and investigate all people.” I want it to end,” he said. , national intelligence data in the police national database. ”

All police in England and Wales were told to conduct staff checks after serial rapist and police officer David Carrick was jailed. Or he said he expects two or three police officers to appear in court every week when charged with crimes related to domestic violence.