London – The government’s newly released Prevent stats for 2018 demonstrate how the policy continues to increasingly target and securitise childhood and is predictably casting its shadow on a potentially endless list of concerns under a new category of “Mixed, unstable or unclear ideology”, a catch all that is ripe for abuse.

Following a similar trend of the last few years, 95% of all referrals are false positives. While in some quarters this may be lauded as a success of sifting procedures, in reality this reading is blind to the intrusiveness, trauma and stigma attached to being investigated under Counter Terrorism measures.

In addition, Muslims make up only 5% of the population yet ‘Islamist’ related concerns make up 44% of all referrals. A gross over representations which uncovers the inherent bias and deliberate targeting of Muslim communities by Prevent.

Asim Qureshi, CAGE Research Director said:

“In the UK, we have a panoply of offences that operate in the pre-criminal space. The idea that future ‘terrorists’ have been somehow dissuaded through Prevent, particularly when the numbers do not correlate to actual violent offenders, is ridiculous at best.”

“What is always missing from these discussions is the long-term impact of false referrals. With a large portion stemming from the education sector, the fundamental relationship between student and teacher is changed forever – the student will forever feel a suspect. We could speak of one false referral being one too many, but the reality is that we are already speaking about this in the thousands, where a 95% inaccuracy rate is harming the future of our children.”


(cc image courtesy of Cabinet Office on Flikr)

(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.)