Theresa May

Time For Government to rethink its approach to dealing with terrorism

December 2, 2014 | Nick Taylor

Today, (Wednesday 26 November 2014) the Government (Debate in the House of Commons at 19:00GMT proposed by the Home Secretary Theresa May – pictured) will introduce a new Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill introducing a range of measures to address the increased threat of terrorism and to give the Police and Security Services the support they need to challenge extremism.

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace is calling on the Government to increase its funding to vital work in the prevention of radicalisation that leads to extremist action. The Foundation recognises Government’s role to protect and secure the nation but is clear that Governments alone cannot tackle extremism and terrorism and need to invest more in preventative work.

Sustainable funding must be identified for long-term activities and interventions commissioned through independent third sector organisations like the Foundation for Peace.

The Foundation believes that the CONTEST (counter terrorism) strategy does not allow for the long-term structural and societal changes necessary to address the attitudes and behaviours that lead to violence.

Nick Taylor, Chief Executive said: “the Foundation for Peace has an 18 year record of experience demonstrating that the thoughts that lead to violent conflict start early on the playgrounds, in classrooms, ‘youth’ groups and through the internet.

“All the evidence is that prevention is better than cure and what we do in confronting this challenge early on should be adopted as best practice on a national basis.

“At present we are relying on short-term contracts and perversely holding raffles, tombolas and cake bakes to raise money to do this work whilst millions of pounds is being directed into security and defence.”

Kelly Simcock, who is a director of the Foundation and Chairs a leading European network specialising in the prevention of radicalisation confirms that all the evidence demonstrates that an independent third sector can address the root causes of violence: “We are working in communities every single day and we have built confidence and trust and are identifying the solutions we need to address the challenges we face.

“We are calling on the Government to fund the Foundation for Peace to deliver our proven interventions in schools, colleges, prisons and work with local authorities to support their engagement with communities.”

The Foundation will be meeting with senior Government officials later this week to set out the case to rethink its approach and call for sustainable funding to support its work.