Last Friday a truly horrific terrorist attack took place in Christchurch, New Zealand, leading to the deaths of 50 worshippers and many more injured. The attack aimed to sow the seeds of division in communities, to ferment hatred and inspire further violent acts.
It was followed by reports of two terrorist linked assaults in Britain over the weekend, and now we hear of a further incident in Utrecht, Holland, today.
Our response to these violent extremist acts is to focus on all that unites us as individuals and communities. In Warwickshire, agencies and communities work together to resist any narrative that promotes extremism. We are proud to be a diverse and peaceful county that celebrates the ties between us.
Sara Khan, who leads the Commission for Countering Extremism, has stated:
“Extremism has a devastating impact on individuals, whole communities and our wider society. It is increasingly becoming mainstreamed and it is plaguing our society. Dehumanising language and hatred of Muslims and any other group must never be tolerated…
“We must do more, as a country and across the world, to ensure we have robust counter extremism policies, that we actively promote equality and human rights and that we build cohesive and compassionate communities. Together we must stand up against all those who continuously seek to divide“
We are fully committed as a local partnership to focus upon sustaining community cohesion, bringing communities together and resisting attempts to divide.
This month we recently launched the Warwickshire Hate Crime Charter which demonstrates our commitment to supporting local people affected by this issue.
We also have a dedicated website (www.reporthatenow.com) for people to report hate crime and access support.
For more information about our partnership community safety work visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com.
If you have concerns about someone you know being groomed and radicalised, please visit our Prevent page to find out how you can help safeguard them.