07 April 2022

Victims of extremism urged to share experiences to help UK tackle terror

07 April 2022

People who have been targeted by extremists are being urged to share their experiences as part of a major independent review that will help the Government tackle hatred and division.

The Government’s independent adviser for social cohesion and resilience, Dame Sara Khan, is launching a call for evidence on Thursday to help understand how extremism harms communities.

Responses from victims, local authorities and members of the public will shape her recommendations on how the Government can better support and protect them.

I know first-hand the terrible impact extremism can have on individuals, families and our communities

Dame Sara said: “As the former counter-extremism commissioner I saw first-hand the impact of extremist and other divisive activity in our towns and cities.

“Too often, the response to those sowing hatred and division is slow and ineffective.

“That is why I have been asked by the Prime Minister to examine what more is required to protect social cohesion and build resilience against extremism at a local level.

“I will be seeking to hear from victims of extremism whose life-changing experiences are often unrecognised and from local authorities and communities who play an invaluable role.”

She added that she will take an “independent, impartial and evidence-based approach” in the public consultation, which will form part of her wider review of social cohesion and resilience.

The widower of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered by a far-right terrorist in her West Yorkshire constituency during the EU referendum campaign in 2016, called on people to take part.

Brendan Cox, widower of murdered MP Jo Cox, urged people to take part in the public consultation on extremism (Daniel Leal-Olivas/Archive/PA) (PA Archive)

Brendan Cox said: “I know first-hand the terrible impact extremism can have on individuals, families and our communities.

“This is a serious challenge for our society and it is vital we do more to respond to this threat.

“Sara’s review examining how extremism impacts individuals, local communities and social cohesion is important and I encourage everyone to take part so she can build your views into her recommendations to the Government.”

Minister for levelling up communities Kemi Badenoch said: “When people try to create divisions amongst us, we must be unwavering in our resolve to stay united.

“By sharing your views, you will be helping ensure that our work to tackle extremism continues on the right track, so that risks in our communities are easily recognised and swiftly dealt with, and we can build resilience and promote social cohesion.”

Anyone can contribute until June 2 by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/independent-review-of-social-cohesion-and-resilience-call-for-evidence.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox