'White-supremacist extremism' is UK's fastest growing threat, says counter-terror police expert

'White-supremacist extremism' is UK's fastest growing threat, says counter-terror police expert
Authorities launched a new controversial website encouraging family members to report loved ones if they suspect them of being radicalised.
2 min read
18 November, 2020
London's police force have been tackling far-right extremism [Getty]
Right-wing extremism is the UK's fastest growing threat, according to a senior member of London's Metropolitan Police.

Far-right extremism, such as white supremacist ideology, is a threat in the UK, with 10 out of 12 under 18s who were arrested for terrorism last year having been linked to extreme right-wing ideology, revealed Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu.

"There has definitely been a growth in nationalistic material online, white supremacist literature, things that are extremely disturbing," Basu said during a Sky interview.

Basu revealed that 17 children, with some as young as 14, were arrested on terrorism charges in the past 18 months.

In that time, some 1,500 children under the age of 15 were referred to the government’s controversial Prevent programme.

"We are seeing more young people being drawn towards terrorist activity," he said.

"That is a relatively new and worrying trend in the UK, because just a few years ago we were not seeing anyone that young amongst our casework."

Th comes as authorities launched a new website called Act Early, which encourages family and friends to report those they suspect of being radicalised.

The government's aforementioned strategy, Prevent, has been the centre of criticism, with many arguing that it disproportionately targets Muslim communities.

The government's counter-terrorism programme has failed to gain popularity with the population; last year just two per cent of referrals to Prevent came from the family and friends of those suspected of being radicalised.

"I remain hopeful, because there is something we can do right now to try and stop this," Basu said.

"It requires parents, friends and family to help us by acting early, by talking to their children about what they view online and sharing their concerns and seeking support if they fear someone they know is in danger of being radicalised."

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