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ATC on Counter-Terrorism

ATC on Counter-Terrorism

Categories: Past Event Articles

Wednesday June 29 2022

On May 28th 2022, MEND held a national advanced training course (ATC) in Manchester. The event focused on counter-terrorism in the United Kingdom.

The event kicked off with a welcome from the MEND Policy team, giving a brief itinerary for the event. Then, as an ice-breaker, each attendee introduced themselves with their name and role in MEND.

The presentations started with a session on Radicalisation and Extremism, Understanding the concepts. Following a speech on Prevent, a part of CONTEST – the UK Government’s strategy for counter-terrorism. The pros and cons of the programme were discussed with interaction from the attendees.

Guest speakers then delivered via Zoom, discussing how Islamophobia manifests throughout PREVENT programme. Speakers concluded by highlighting that PREVENT was in fact counterproductive in relation to counter-terrorism.

After lunch, attendees took part in a session on Schedule 7, where discussions focused on the power of border security and the lack of rights afforded to those stopped under Schedule 7. Guest speaker from CAGE spoke about his experience with Schedule 7, in which he was wrongly suspected of being concerned with terrorism, and was taken to court for not complying with police orders due to privacy reasons. This was followed by a Q&A session where attendees posed important questions which helped them to understand the topic better.

Lastly, we were back to the MEND policy team who elaborately discussed the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act (TPIMs). The ins and outs of the Act were highlighted, along with a discussion on how Islamophobia manifests within the legislation. Attendees asked questions and delivered their thoughts, and by the end, everybody had gained a refined understanding of Prevent, Schedule 7 and TPIMs.

The session also gave time for volunteers, staff and guests to come together and socialise in a way that has not been possible for some time due to covid.

Thank you to the MEND Policy team for organising this event, and to the Manchester team for their hospitality. To all guest speakers for their insight and to volunteers for their help and support. Thank you to all attendees, we hope to see you again in the next ATC.

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