Counter-Terrorism Policing’s leader Neil Basu has called upon the public to help tackle right wing extremism by seeking help for those vulnerable to radicalisation. The appeal comes after Assistant Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner Basu warned about the significant growth of right wing terrorism in the UK, revealing that nearly a third of terrorist attacks foiled since 2017 were linked to the ideology.
The police and security services have foiled 22 terror attacks since March 2017, with seven relating to right wing terrorism. This represents more than 10% of Counter-Terrorism Policing’s caseload. That’s up from 6% just two years ago. The ideology accounted for 24% of terrorism-related arrests in the 12 months to June 2019.
“There’s a small, but growing threat posed to the UK from right wing terrorism and we’re working alongside our partners in the Security Services to combat it,” explained Basu. “We’re dedicating more officers and more resources to tackle it, and together we’re bringing the full might of the UK’s counter-terrorism machine to bear against those who wish to do us harm or incite violence. The whole of society has a part to play in this fight. My officers might be on the front line, but we cannot succeed without the help and support of the general public.”
Home Office figures show that more people are trusting Prevent with their concerns about right wing extremism, with the number of referrals into the Government’s safeguarding scheme nearly doubling to 18% since 2015-2016.
“Prevent has a proven track record in protecting vulnerable people, but each foiled plot represents a missed opportunity and, as a society, we must do more to protect those who need our help,” added Basu. “We’re currently running more than 800 live investigations. The only way we will see that decline in the long-term is to start treating the causes of terrorism and not just the symptoms.”
Basu continued: “The Prevent programme is our best hope of doing that. We have thousands of people around the country who work every day to guard vulnerable people against the dangers of extremism and radicalisation. The most effective way people can support us in this work is to trust police with information that could save lives.”