Wycombe Labour today reminded Wycombe District Council of its commitment to engage and work with the community, including in combating extremism. It asked WDC to review its decision to withhold information, on national security grounds, about the PREVENT programme.
This programme is intended to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and radicalised towards extreme organisations such as the English Defence League.
In particular Wycombe Labour repeated its request for information about the ethnic and religious background of those referred to the PREVENT programme for help.
Mahamid Ahmed, Wycombe Labour’s secretary said in his letter to WDC
“Members of Wycombe Labour Party are as anxious as any other resident in Wycombe to help combat the risks of extremism. We welcome the references in WDC’s PREVENT delivery plan to the risks from far right extreme organisation like the EDL as well as from terrorist organisations originating in Syria.
We are concerned about the radicalisation of vulnerable young people to the extremist ideology of international terrorist organisations.
We are equally as concerned about the radicalisation of vulnerable young people to far right extremist organisations like EDL.
PREVENT’s definition of extremism includes vocal and active opposition to fundamental British values. One of these values is mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. The EDL is therefore an extremist organisation.
In view of today’s march by the EDL through the streets of Wycombe, it would be helpful to have the answer to my question about the ethnic origin and religion of individuals referred to PREVENT.
We welcome WDC's commitment in its Corporate Plan ‘to maintain and improve people’s quality of life by engaging and working with them to ensure we have more cohesive communities’.
We would like to help turn that commitment into reality but we cannot do this unless we can understand what the PREVENT programme is trying to do, how it is trying to do it, and how residents can engage.”