Policy-makers and security experts in the Jewish community this week raised eyebrows at Labour’s promise to “review” the Government’s Prevent strategy, which aims to tackle radicalisation.
In its manifesto, unveiled on Tuesday, the party described what changes it would make in the field of security and counter-terrorism, saying it would give intelligence agencies the powers they need but “ensure that such powers do not weaken our individual rights or civil liberties”.
On the Government’s Prevent programme, which requires public-sector employees such as teachers and prison officers to alert authorities to signs of extremism or radicalisation, the party said it would review it “with a view to assessing both its effectiveness and its potential to alienate minority communities”.
This reflects the Muslim community’s long-held belief that the Prevent programme is only aimed at them, but while Jewish policy-makers are not wedded to the current set-up, the was a widespread view this week that something similar must replace it.
Charities working in this field are forbidden from making statements seen as endorsing one political party or another, so most would not comment, however one source close to this subject said: “If Prevent didn’t exist, there would need to be something in its place. We’re certainly supportive of the concept.”