The rise of the old terrors: Referrals of over 60s to counter-extremism scheme rockets by nearly 90%


OAPs suspected of being terror threats have rocketed by 90 per cent in three years –  after authorities centered on far-right figures ‘to appease critics of the scheme’. 

In 2020 alone 97 over 60s have been flagged as much as Stop, the Authorities’s technique for figuring out those that could possibly be susceptible to turning into harmful extremists.

It’s almost double the 53 reported to the organisation again within the twelve months spanning 2017 and 2018.

However consultants consider the vast majority of them are what can be thought of far-right terror suspects, sparked by a push by a few of the UK’s most senior forces.

And it comes because the Stop technique is below investigation itself after it was branded ‘poisonous’ amid allegations it primarily focused these from Muslim backgrounds.

Terror and extremism skilled Colonel Richard Kemp, who chaired the federal government’s Cobra Intelligence Group, instructed MailOnline he believed the rise was down to 2 new drives.

He stated: ‘I do know that the authorities are attempting to stress far-right extremism relatively than Islamic extremism.

‘I can inform you that the menace between the 2 isn’t comparable. After all there’s a marginal menace from the left and proper, however not comparable.

Data analysed by MailOnline show significant increases in the numbers of over 60s referred

Knowledge analysed by MailOnline present important will increase within the numbers of over 60s referred

‘Within the pursuits of attempting to seem even-handed and appease those who criticised the Stop programme for specializing in Islamic extremists, I do know they’re taking a look at far-right extremism extra to counter these accusations

‘The authorties have tried to inflate that menace to attempt to appease critics of these insurance policies.’

‘What it additionally exhibits that maybe there may be now a higher understanding of the place Islamic extremism comes from

‘Youthful individuals are definitely concerned in assaults and plots usually, however I believe there may be the elevated understanding that older folks imams, elders or neighborhood leaders could also be extraordinarily necessary on the subject of radicalising them.

‘The numbers are encouraging, as a result of regardless of folks in Islamic communities being closely crucial of Stop, this appears to indicate that extra folks inside these communities are referring older folks. I believe the older referrals have to be coming from contained in the neighborhood itself.’

In 2019 to twenty newest figures confirmed 97 over 60s have been referred to Stop, 18 have been mentioned by a Channel panel and 5 occurring to be correct instances.

Prevent figures show how different areas of concern have changed over recent years

Stop figures present how completely different areas of concern have modified over current years

Referrals to prevent that have been adopted as Channel Cases have gone down from 2017 high

Referrals to forestall which were adopted as Channel Circumstances have gone down from 2017 excessive

What’s Stop? 

Stop is a part of the federal government’s counter-terrorism initiative and was created by the then ruling Labour celebration in 2003.

It’s meant to assist and determine folks weak to turning into terrorists and has a statutory component that compels authorities together with the NHS and colleges to report folks.

After referral, instances are assessed and if acceptable they are often escalated to one thing known as the Channel programme.

Channel presents several types of assist, which may even embrace psychological well being interventions if acceptable.

Stop has been accused by critics of concentrating extra on folks of Muslim religion or background.

Earlier within the 12 months spanning 2017 to 18 there have been a complete of 53 over 60s referred to Stop, of which seven have been mentioned at Channel panel, however none have been adopted as a Channel Case.

Then in 2018 to 19 there have been 75 of the older technology Stop referrals, whereas 15 have been mentioned by Channel and 4 turning into an official case. 

House Workplace knowledge confirmed there have been a complete of 6,287 referrals this 12 months, with 697 taken on by the federal government’s Channel programme for specialist assist

Dangers from older extremists have been delivered to the fore in 2017 when the then 52-year-old Khalid Masood launched a terror assault in Westminster, killing 5 folks.

The fanatic – who nonetheless is the oldest Islamic terrorist in Britain – drove into 4 folks earlier than stabbing to demise an unarmed police officer.

Till then it had been widely-thought youngsters and youthful folks have been most susceptible to radicalisation and turning into a menace.

On the time David Videcette, a former senior counter terrorism officer stated authorities had to consider who may grow to be a hazard.

He stated that 12 months: ‘There’s a tendency to attempt to profile what a typical terrorist is, however this may be very problematic as a result of, after all, not each terrorist matches the profile.

‘Simply because he had reached his fifties doesn’t imply that he was now not a hazard.’

Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood, 52, is the oldest in Britain convicted over an attack

Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood, 52, is the oldest in Britain convicted over an assault

Masood killed PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Leslie Rhodes, Andreea Cristea and Kurt Cochran

Masood killed PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Leslie Rhodes, Andreea Cristea and Kurt Cochran

The sequence of events when someone is referred to the counter-terror Prevent programme

The sequence of occasions when somebody is referred to the counter-terror Stop programme

Analysis carried out by ICM Limitless on behalf of the House Workplace steered 58% of most people considered Stop favourably in comparison with simply 8% who disliked the scheme.

Stop was first launched 5 years in the past and has seen adjustments in what number of instances are referred after which adopted year-on-year.

Terror assaults which were carried out within the UK have led to higher public consciousness of who may flip to extremism and in flip members of the general public flagging suspicions. 

Of these initially referred that don’t grow to be Channel instances, round half are handed to different providers for intervention.

An impartial evaluation of Stop is being carried out and had been as a result of end this 12 months, though the coronavirus pandemic has put it again an additional 12 months.

The evaluation was welcomed by the Muslim Council of Nice Britain when it was introduced.

Then Harun Khan, the organisation’s secretary-general, stated: ‘For a lot too lengthy, the Stop technique has affected the lives of harmless households, been criticised for mainstreaming discrimination and misplaced the belief of communities across the UK.’

A House Workplace spokesperson instructed MailOnline the older referrals made up a small a part of the overall.

They added: ‘The newest statistics clearly present Stop is tackling the menace from radicalisation – a vital a part of our counter-terrorism technique – and serving to to maintain our communities secure.

‘Safeguarding is at its coronary heart and because the introduction of the Stop obligation in 2015, 2,352 referrals have resulted in people recognized as weak to radicalisation receiving assist to show them away from a harmful path.

‘Though the variety of referrals for over 60s has elevated because the 12 months ending March 2018, referrals for this age group stay comparatively low. Referrals for over 60s accounted for under 2% of all referrals to Stop throughout the 12 months ending March 2020 – 97 out of 6,287.’

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