London  – The latest PREVENT statistics show that 95% of referrals are unnecessary and Muslims remain 50 times more likely to be referred. This means it is more akin to a mass surveillance tool, which renders the safeguarding rationale obsolete and instead borders on harassment of a whole community.

Nearly a third of all referrals are from the education sector. This means PREVENT is turning teachers into police and is having a devastating effect on teacher-student trust, as demonstrated by a recent NUS report.

Stats also show that a massive 58% of individuals referred are signposted to other services such as mental health; as such the most vulnerable in society are passing through a highly securitised system, skewing statistics and stigmatising people for life.

This raises the question of whether PREVENT is necessary at all, as it is highly securitised in nature and deeply traumatic to those affected by it.

Asim Qureshi, research director for CAGE, said:

“These stats show that PREVENT targets Muslims and leads to the separation of families. It also has a special marked effect on young people, as our cases illustrate time and again.”

“In a recent report, it emerged that doctors were bring incentivised to report individuals through PREVENT. As a result, they were labelling vulnerable people as potential “terrorists” in order to get immediate support. This is clear evidence of how PREVENT negatively impacts society’s most vulnerable, and also corrupts public sector services.”

“PREVENT is at its core highly discriminatory and Islamophobic, and founded on completely incorrect ideas about “radicalisation” with no regard for grievances about policy or the natural inclinations of the very young. As a result, it is destined to keep having the same detrimental effects, and our community will keep rejecting it, no matter how many times individuals and groups attempt to re-engineer it.”

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)