Preventing Religio-Political Extremism Amongst Muslim Youth - A Study Exploring Police-Community Partnership

Published on


This project builds on a previous study undertaken collaboratively by the same research team, which examined police-community engagement and partnership in relation to counter-terrorism (Spalek, El-Awa & McDonald, 2009). The focus of the study being reported here is still very much upon police-community engagement and partnership in relation to counter-terrorism, but with the added dimension of the inclusion of Muslim youth. The study set out here is a small-scale but in-depth study with 62 individuals who are closely involved or affected by the counter- terrorism agenda and the development of engagement between community members and police. The methodology included semi-structured interviews with: One set of interviews (15 individuals, 8 in London and 7 in Birmingham) involved police officers, to ascertain how partnership approaches are being developed and what these partnership approaches involve. Another set of interviews were carried out with Muslim community groups involved in such partnership approaches (14 individuals, 9 in London and 5 in Birmingham). Another set of interviews (approximately 13 individuals, 6 in London and 7 in Birmingham) involved other stakeholders in partnership approaches involving police: local authority representatives, youth agency workers, policy makers. We also accessed Muslim youth from diverse backgrounds, individually interviewing 9 Muslim young people and holding two focus group discussions with 6 young people in each, one in Birmingham the other in London. The following set of questions was explored: - What empirical evidence exists of partnership with youth in preventing violence ? - How do police work with Muslim communities to prevent religio-political extremism amongst Muslim youth ? To what extent is such work characterised by partnership ? - To what extent is trust an important element of partnership work ? How, in what ways, and to what extent, are police officers and Muslim community members involved in trust-building activities when engaging with each other ? How does this work when involving Muslim youth ? - What are the components to trust within partnership work ? - Within a multi-agency environment, how, in what ways, and to what extent, are police involved in partnerships with other agencies like local authorities and youth services when working towards preventing violent extremism? - To what extent do police-community initiatives contain elements of de-radicalisation work ? What are the components to de-radicalisation work ? - How do police-community initiatives link to wider policing and security structures ? Do police-community initiatives include an element of gathering community intelligence? In what ways is community intelligence shared between police-community partners, between police involved in partnership work and wider policing structures, and between police and the security services?


Basia Spalek

Available languages