New measures to tackle extremism and radicalisation across the UK have been proposed by the Prime Minister’s Extremism Taskforce.
The taskforce was set up this summer to identify areas where the current approach was lacking and agree practical steps to fight against all forms of extremism.
The final report states that challenging and tackling extremism is a shared effort and includes a definition of Islamist extremism as a distinct ideology which should not be confused with traditional religious practice.
The proposals include:
- considering if there is a case for new civil powers, similar to the new anti-social behaviour powers, to target the behaviours extremists use to radicalise others
- considering if there is a case for new types of order to ban groups which seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech, when necessary to protect the public or prevent crime and disorder
- consulting on new legislation to strengthen the powers of the Charity Commission
- working with internet companies to restrict access to terrorist material online which is hosted overseas but illegal under UK law and help them with their continuing efforts to identify what material to include in family-friendly filters
- improving the process for the public to report extremist content online
- making delivery of the Channel programme, which supports individuals at risk of being radicalised, a legal requirement in England and Wales
- ensuring prisoners who have demonstrated extremist views in prison receive intervention and support on release
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
This summer we saw events that shocked the nation with the horrific killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich and murder of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham. These tragedies were a wakeup call for government and wider society to take action to confront extremism in all its forms, whether in our communities, schools, prisons, Islamic centres or universities.
I have been absolutely clear that this is not something we should be afraid to address for fear of cultural sensitivities. We have already put in place some of the toughest terrorism prevention controls in the democratic world, but we must work harder to defeat the radical views which lead some people to embrace violence.
The taskforce I set up has proposed a broad range of measures to counter the extremist narrative and I will make sure they are taken forward.
The implementation of these practical steps to tackle extremism in all its forms will be closely monitored.