Majority of Londoners believe extremism is on the rise


Two thirds of Londoners would not know how to get help from authorities if they were worried someone was vulnerable to radicalisation.

Figures come as part of research from the Mayor of London’s Countering Violent Extremism programme, which was launched in December 2017 to safeguard people who might be vulnerable to extremist views.

According to the study, 64% of people in the Capital said they would not know how to seek help from the authorities if they were worried about an individual being vulnerable to manipulation towards extremism or terrorism.

Sadiq Khan said: “Violent extremism is one of the biggest threats facing London and our country.

“We simply must do better at safeguarding the vulnerable and stopping people from promoting these vile ideologies with such horrific consequences.”

The research also shows more than 60% of people think extremism is increasing.

A quarter of people said they had witnessed or experienced extremist views in the past year, while 17% said they have witnessed views promoting or supporting acts of terrorism in the same period.

Last week the government announced it would be reviewing its ‘Prevent’ programme – an initiative created to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Mr Khan welcomed this review but said his research was evidence the programme is failing.

He added: “We have to do more to empower communities to speak out and challenge hate crime and extremist views.

“We need communities to report concerns to the police and local authorities and find lasting solutions that will stop the spread of violent extremism completely.”

The warning comes as Mr Khan prepares to meet with advisers in his Countering Violent Extremism programme to discuss how its work has been progressing.

Specialist adviser Cllr Clare Coghill, who is also the leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “All communities need to understand the ever-changing threat from extremism in London and what part we all play in challenging extremist views.”