Alarming rise in number of schoolchildren with far-right views
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Alarming rise in number of schoolchildren with far-right views

Jewish community leaders warn the trend of radicalisation may grow and requires action when it comes to its spread on social media.

Harry Vaughan, 18
Harry Vaughan, 18

There has been an alarming rise in the number of schoolchildren being referred for far-right extremism, new figures from the Home Office reveal.

Out of more than 300 people identified in 2019-20 as being looked at for possible radical views, 70 were 14 or younger while 105 were aged between 15 and 20, according to the Sun.

The Home Office figures obtained by the Sun, reveal the majority of far-right cases referred to the UK’s de-radicalisation programme came after concerns were raised in school or by police.

This comes after a series of high-profile far-right convictions, mainly of younger people, including Harry Vaughan, an 18-year-old neo-Nazi who was found to have more than 4,000 far-right files and documents on his personal computer.

A Home Office spokesperson said it “is committed to confronting terrorism in all its forms, including from the extreme right wing. We remain focussed on disrupting the activities of the most dangerous extremists, supporting those who stand up to their hateful rhetoric, and protecting vulnerable people being drawn into terrorism.

“Protecting children from radicalisation forms part of schools’ wider safeguarding duties. We provide training, resources and direct support to help teachers understand when someone in their care may be at risk, and when to intervene.”

Commenting on the alarming 200 percent rise in cases being monitored in the last four years, Dave Rich, chief executive of the Community Security Trust said: “This isn’t a surprise, sadly. In recent years we have seen increasing numbers of teenage defendants in terrorist cases, mostly linked to far right extremism. Some of these cases have involved horrific levels of antisemitism and a desire to attack Jews in this country. We are also seeing a proliferation of far right youth networks organised on fringe social media sites that fuels this shift to violence.”

Danny Stone, chief executive of the Antisemitism Policy Trust said: “This phenomenon of far-right radicalisation amongst younger people in Britain is deeply worrying. Against a backdrop of political polarisation and identity politics, a recent bout of isolation, boredom, and loneliness, and an economically uncertain future on the horizon, I fear this trend will grow. There is no easy answer, and it will require a multi-pronged approach, but fundamentally, we must ensure that our schools are well-equipped in the battle of ideas against this hateful ideology.”

Lord Mann, the government’s independent antisemitism adviser, commented “it is an ongoing priority to ensure education against antisemitism in every secondary school. I am currently assessing the situation and by coincidence my consultation on this matter begins on Wednesday. I will take my time in thinking through the issues and consulting widely before preparing a report to government, but it is in my agreed work-plan to do so. I think next year is more realistic for a finished report.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments