01 July 2016
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The annual report of the UK government on its counter-terrorism strategy, covering the year 2015, was published on 21 July. Amongst other things, the report includes statistics on the "effective use of proportionate counter-terrorism powers," noting that the power to cancel or refuse to issue passports to British passport holders was used 23 times; powers to seize and temporarily retain travel documents at ports have been used 24 times; and that two Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (essentially a form of internal exile) were in force "in the last quarter of 2015".
The growing number of people that have received Prevent training is highlighted by the report. Prevent is a scheme in which vast numbers of public sector workers have to be trained to spot signs of "radicalisation":
"In total, over 400,000 frontline staff received training, more than double the number from the previous year. To reach even more staff, we are expanding our training offer by endorsing more products and developing e-learning modules."
For further information, see: More than 500,000 public sector workers put through Prevent counter-terror training in bid to spot extremism (The Independent, link)
The report also acknowledges the existence of the Research, Information and Communications Unit, whose work became more widely-known earlier this year through a series of exposés:
"Today, RICU has become a government strategic communications unit which is based in the Home Office and which works across a range of public safety issues, including counter-terrorism and counter-extremism, organised immigration crime, cyber crime and money laundering.
RICU works in partnership with private sector experts to build the capacity of civil society groups to confront and challenge the ideology of terrorism and extremism."
See: UK 'grassroots' anti-extremism campaign produced by Home Office (Middle East Eye, link) and Inside Ricu, the shadowy propaganda unit inspired by the cold war (The Guardian, link)
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