Foremost, we stand with all victims of terrorist attacks, those who have lost their lives and those who continue to be affected by the trauma of these atrocities. Our thoughts are with you.
We hope that we can develop more acute strategies to ensure the future safety of our communities.
Our work is in the counter-extremism remit and focuses on safeguarding individuals and communities at the earliest sign of concern. However, we recognise the importance of this grass roots work in the wider counter-terrorism strategy.
SAFE is an independent, community-led project that provides specialist support for those affected by any form of extremism. With this in mind, two recommendations made in the report are of particular interest to us and should be elaborated upon.
Firstly, we concur that there needs to be a more rigorous approach to managing domestic extremism, particularly extreme right-wing groups. As we have seen very recently, the threat of the far-right has increased in the last 12 months. Even more worryingly, these views (once on the periphery) now seem to have become more accepted and even advocated for within mainstream society. SAFE clearly stands against all forms of extremist ideology and seeks to challenge those who encroach on our values of pluralism and tolerance. We are raising more awareness of this form of extremism on our social media platforms and developing resources to help families and individuals reflect on and self-regulate their attitudes and behaviour.
Within this context of domestic extremism, we welcome (if not, encourage) the recommendation to work with partners on how best to manage the risk posed by individuals. This should include community groups such as ourselves. Undoubtedly, the better we can communicate across agencies and share information (where necessary), the greater chance we have of developing proportionate intervention and preventing harm to both the individual and the wider community. To do so effectively however, we must openly discuss how different authorities and organisations can navigate around their respective responsibilities and boundaries. We believe that the trust of the community is vital to ensuring its safety.
For the Home Secretary’s full statement please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/statement-on-reviews-into-the-attacks-in-manchester-and-london