Rise in reports of people flagged up to authorities over right-wing extremism

Home secretary Priti Patel during a visit to Kent Police College in Maidstone. Photograph: Stefan Ro

Home secretary Priti Patel during a visit to Kent Police College in Maidstone. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The number of people flagged up to authorities for concerns over right-wing extremism has almost doubled in the last three years, while referrals over Islamist radicalisation plummeted, figures show.

There were 5,738 referrals overall to the government's prevent programme between April 2018 and March 2019.

Of these, 1,389 referrals were for concerns over right-wing extremism - a 6% rise from 1,312 in the previous period and almost double the 759 flagged up in 2015/16.

Islamist concerns accounted for a larger proportion of referrals but the number dropped 56% from 3,197 to 1,404, according to the Home Office figures.

A further 2,169 people had a "mixed, unstable or unclear ideology" while 776 were referred over other concerns like international and left-wing radicalisation.


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With an annual budget of around £40 million, Prevent aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

It was launched after public bodies were placed under a statutory duty in 2015 to stop people being drawn into terrorism.

Anyone concerned that someone they know might be at risk can refer them.

When authorities decide there is a risk that the person referred to Prevent could be drawn into terrorism, they are then assessed as part of a scheme known as Channel and potentially taken on as a case. Engagement with the scheme is voluntary and it is not a criminal sanction.

Of the cases examined, 561 were taken on as a case and supported through the scheme - 254 (45%) of which were over right-wing radicalisation concerns. This is a 50% rise on the previous year.

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