This page explains how North Wales Police and Local Authorities are working with partner agencies and the public to stop people from becoming involved in or supporting violent extremism. It also explains how the public can help build stronger, safer communities who can reject violent extremism in all its forms.
Although extremely rare in the UK, violent extremism and terrorism are still a danger to us all.
North Wales, as potentially anywhere in the UK, can be threatened by a very small minority who encourage or glorify violence in the name of politics, religion or as part of an ideology.
What is terrorism?
Terrorism occurs when unlawful force or threats are used to support a belief or ideology. These criminal acts can include threatening someone because they are a different colour or religion; causing damage to property to get a political point of view across; or setting off a bomb to kill or injure people and terrorise whole communities.
Who are terrorists?
They can come from any background, any community, or any religion. They can be young or old, male or female. They believe that violent extremism is acceptable in pursuing their ideology or cause.
Why does it happen?
It can happen when a person feels angry or helpless about something they believe is wrong or unjust, or because they hate anyone who does not agree with their potentially distorted views or beliefs. However, even though they may be justified to feel angry about something they feel is unfair, this does not mean they should attack or threaten any person.
How we are tackling the threat?
Since 2001, many plots to attack the UK have been stopped by the police and security services, saving the lives of many people, and in recent years extremists have been convicted and jailed. But we strongly believe that violent extremists will try again. Therefore it is important to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism in the first place.
Prevention is better than cure
Acts of terrorism or extremism are criminal and it is our duty to do all we can to stop them from happening in the first place. Partnership agencies such as the police, council and health services are working with the people of north Wales to stop individuals becoming or supporting terrorists by building stronger, safer communities who feel empowered to reject extremism and terrorism in all its forms.
This work is called Prevent and is part of the Uk’s counter terrorism strategy, called CONTEST.
As part of this work we are helping and safeguarding vulnerable people so they do not get caught up in violent extremism and we are making it more difficult for extremists to spread their destructive messages. Our work is helping to bring local authorities, police and communities closer together.
Prevent - the facts
We recognise that people may have concerns about the Prevent strategy and what it means in north Wales.
It is not about spying on our communities, it is about working with local residents and partner agencies such as councils, the health service and other support services to protect those communities and vulnerable people.
It is not targeted at religion or ethnicity - extremists can come from any background.
It is not about blame. There is no hidden agenda to criminalise any individual or to target any community or group. Prevent is about working together with the public to support and safeguard vulnerable people and build stronger, safer communities.
Every neighbourhood in north Wales has police and local authority teams working with and for local people to tackle crime and safety issues that matter to them. Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPT) and their colleagues work with local people to find solutions to local problems.
We want to help people and prevent them from being drawn into violence.
We want to deal with problems such as hate crime and victimisation that may cause a person to feel vulnerable.
We want to help unite communities against those who want to cause harm.
How you can help
It is important that the public work with us so that we can protect vulnerable people and communities.
There are many ways to get involved or help:
- You can get in touch with your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or local authority community team if you have any concerns regarding an individual.
- You can provide facilities that could help us hold community engagement events so we can be sure that our communities understand the work we are doing and have a say in the way that we do it.
If you would like any further information regarding Prevent please email: email@example.com