Bringing it Home Community-based Approaches to Counter-terrorism

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Researchers carried out an initial stage of background research, drawing on existing academic and policy work, demographic data, policy documents and initial interviews with members of the Muslim community. The methodology, approach and tentative conclusions were tested extensively at a Demos conference at Wilton Park in March 2006, which brought together senior police and security service personnel, Whitehall-based civil servants, community activists, academics and journalists. The conference tested the hypothesis that community-based approaches to counter-terrorism are effective and provided invaluable feedback and suggestions for further research. Researchers then undertook interviews, group discussions and informal conversations in a number of cities around the UK, including Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester and London. This element of the research was critical, as so much of this kind of research tends to be London-centric. During the course of the fieldwork, researchers talked to well over 200 people, most of whom were residents ofMuslim communities - school children, university students, parents, community leaders, religious leaders, and so forth - but also included local police officers, local authority officials, politicians, journalists and academics. The majority of these interviews were conducted strictly off the record because of the potential sensitivities around some of the issues covered, and for this reason many of the quotes in the report are unattributed. This was essential in enabling individuals to be more open in their comments than might otherwise have been the case. Researchers also benefited from help and advice throughout from the project steering group, which included academics, community activists, politicians and NGO staff. A full list of the steering group is included in the Acknowledgements.


Catherine Fieschi, Hannah Lownsbrough, Rachel Briggs

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