Only a tiny percentage of people think the Prevent counter extremism policy is working, new research has revealed.
The poll, which was conducted by independent research agency BMG Research, found just four per cent of the public believe current measures are effective, while 19 per cent had no idea the government even had an anti-radicalisation strategy.
BMG polled 1,511 adults, of whom 55 per cent did not think anti-radicalisation efforts were working. It follows a call by the UK’s terror watchdog for an independent review of Prevent.
Prevent is a key part of the government’s counter-terrorism efforts, with teachers, lecturers, social workers, prison officers and NHS managers under a legal obligation to report signs of radicalisation.
BMG Research director Dr Michael Turner said: “The Government is clearly doing a poor job communicating any progress of its strategy to the wider public.”
Bella Sankey, director of policy for human rights group Liberty, told the Evening Standard that the poll was a “damning indictment” of Prevent, which she branded “clumsy and offensive.” She said: “The government has had no qualms dismissing the valid concerns of human rights campaigners, teachers and religious groups, but the British public will prove harder to brush off.”
Security minister John Hayes said more than 400,000 people have been trained to recognise the signs of radicalisation. “On top of this, there have been more than 4,000 referrals, with hundreds of people at risk of being drawn into terrorism accepting voluntary support.”