New plan to tackle violent extremism: Mentors to be drafted in to help reverse the process of radicalisation

A nationwide “deradicalisation” programme is being developed to tackle people who have been drawn into Islamist violent extremism in Britain, the government will reveal today. The Home Office said the strategy was needed to help bring back those who had “already crossed the line” in terms of ideology and outlook, but not yet committed any clear criminal offence. The local schemes involved so far aim to reverse the process of radicalisation possibly through mentoring those involved: “Nationally we are developing a UK deradicalisation programme,” says the government’s new strategy document on preventing violent extremism published today. “That involves learning from overseas, from other professions, and through pilot programmes. We recognise that more specialised techniques are likely to be necessary but a key element of this approach is for local partners to identify and work with organisations that may be able to provide this capacity.” It cites the example of a community based programme in Leicester that is already mentoring “vulnerable individuals” using techniques including encouraging them to feel more valued and to eradicate myths and assumptions which have led to them becoming alienated and disempowered. Alan Travis reports.