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Theresa May on terror

More than 300,000 front line workers have been trained to help identify and prevent extremism, the Home Secretary Theresa May told a Met Police conference.

From July 1 the new statutory Prevent duty for specified authorities will commence, she said. “Once this has been fully implemented it will require local authorities, the police, prisons, probation services, schools, colleges – and yes, universities too – to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. This will ensure that Prevent activity is consistent across the country and in all those bodies that work with those who may be vulnerable.”

As reported in Professional Security, university heads of security and others who have the ‘Prevent’ legal duty are asking what is the definition of a terrorist, and teachers and others fear that the duty to inform on pupils will undermine trust.

Theresa May said: “Technology means that there is no need for face-to-face, or even direct, contact between a radicaliser and their target. Someone can be sitting in their bedroom, thousands of miles away from hate preachers and foreign fighters, and they can become radicalised and encouraged to go out and attack innocent civilians. Our Internet Referral Unit takes down terrorist-related content from the internet, and since February 2010 we have removed more than 90,000 pieces of material – currently removing around 1,000 pieces a week. We are also working with social media companies and encouraging them to take stronger, faster and further action to combat the use of their services by groups like ISIL, including through a zero tolerance approach to terrorist activity on their networks.”

She spoke also of the Government’s proposed Investigatory Powers Bill which she said will give due consideration to the balance between privacy and security.

For the full speech at a Counter Terrorism and Policing conference, visit gov.uk – click here.


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