back to article Smith plans 300-strong force to tackle UK radicalisation

UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to announce 300 new police-service posts specifically targeted at preventing terrorist radicalisation in Britain. The BBC reports today that Ms Smith will announce the new jobs later today in a speech to police officers. The extra staff will be a mixture of plods and civilian support personnel …

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IRA

Funny how we didn't seem to need all these terror plods when the IRA were in full swing! What are the gov. afraid of? The general public realising the whole thing is a sham, and the real terrorists are actually "middle-England's" NIMBYs and fascist parents demanding everyone be tagged, tracked, and profiled whilst the scary outside is littered with speed-bumps and bubble-wrapped lamp-posts.

Answers on a post-card...

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Heart

Oh no, can this be...

The dreaded Pamphlet Police?

No terrorist can stand before the might of the PC PC and his leaflets of peace. We shall now have peace in our time. God bless our government, I'm so proud..

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Ash
Stop

How to Stop Terrorism

Stop spreading the message.

The public aren't scared of terrorists; they're pissed off the BBC shows us beheadings and suicide attacks at 1830 WHEN WE'RE TRYING TO EAT OUR TEA.

Terror spreads by those not involved talking about it. So shut up.

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Missing the point, part 427983

The idea that the Government should combat radicalisation by not p***ing off peaceful citizens to the point of radicalism has clearly not crossed Wacky Jacqui's mind ...

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Seem to have missed one from the list

"Faith" schools seem to have been missed off the list. Close them all down, and make the teaching of religion to U18's a criminal offence. It's more dangerous and addictive than heroin, so seems reasonable to me.

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Anonymous Coward

300 coppers?

running round the country shouting sparta?

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Alert

I'd like to see...

...Ms Smith's backbench subjected to a good hard revolt...

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Anonymous Coward

'maintaining a moderate Western-style atmosphere'

Maintaining a apathetic, tow the line, don't question, bend over and take it attitude in other words.

Its been said to many times i know but todays goverment sounds more and more like the rhetoric of 1984's Oceania and their perpetual war.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this the same Smith who...

...just a few days ago said that the government will fast-track 'respected, moderate' imams from Pakistan into the UK? Just what we need, more imams preaching their particular brand of religion onto the already-converted.

Who says they are respected and moderate?

The best way to deal with terrorist proselytising in mosques is to send the police into any mosque where an imam is preaching hatred. Zero tolerance on hate speech would sort it out. And no, that's not racist, it's a crime to incite racial hatred, and that's exactly what goes on in some of these places.

Forget about forging relations within the community, just kick out the ones spreading the hatred!

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300 extra coppers

Now would you like 300 coppers...

a) trying to stop a few injuries and deaths / year on average due to terrorism

b) trying to stop the several thousand injuries and deaths each year caused by drunks, muggers, rapists, burgulars, armed robbers, kiddernappers, drug addicts, joy riders, gangs, etc etc....

Can we have a Cuckoo / Fairies / Clouds icon please?

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Pollies don't know how to relate

"management in such institutions would be assisted in maintaining a moderate Western-style atmosphere."

As a Muslim, I find this the most asinine statement I've read in a while. Why would a moderate western-style atmosphere be of any interest to a Muslim in a mosque or similar society? Islam is not immoderate nor is contrary to western style views on proper and respectful behaviour. This statement possesses the hallmarks of a bigot's view that her set of "standards" are measurably superior to those of another culture. What if she didn't like the insular nature of Chinese, Indian and Sikh cultures? She needs to engage with "radical" imams etc and find out what is really ticking them off.

A part of Islamic thought is very clear on the expected behaviour of Muslims when Muslim countries are invaded. That behavior involves fighting continuously until the invader is driven out. The participants are drawn from a pool of those closest to the event and in increasing circles as more participants are required. There will be those who think it quite proper to attack that invader in their home country in order to force them to retreat.

So the real easy part to stop "terrorism" is to pack up bags and leave Iraq and Afghanistan. Clear and simple. Part of sharia involves identifying retreat as a point at which hostilities can and should stop. Simple and civilized. Please leave.

NickL, @Missing the point, part 427983 has another good point. Muslims in western countries are feeling under relentless pressure. It's all the little things, like continuous articles in the press discussing Muslims values and behaviour, especially with the implication that these are somehow inferior to the west. They are not fundamentally that different and involve care for others, care for the community and care for oneself.

Wacky Jacqui .... love it!

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Flame

What the hell are Western values?

Lies?

Threats?

Fear-mongering?

Bribery?

Corruption?

The values of this government have fuck all correlation to the values of most of the public.

Unfortunately, the media are such a bag of pussies, they won't call the government on their blatant lying douchebaggery.

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The Oxygen of Publicity

It was Margaret T who was so adamant about denying the IRA the "Oxygen of Publicity". Instead, this lot seem to be keen on creating judicial martyrs of those who are too inept to physically martyr themselves.

Talk about pouring on petrol.

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@ 300 extra coppers

"a few injuries and deaths / year on average due to terrorism"

Yep, that's what confuses me too. As far as I know, there was only one terrorism-related death in Britain last year - and that was the rubbish suicide bomber at Glasgow Airport.

I think there were zero deaths in 2006.

In 2005 there were the July 7th bombings (and the de Menezes shooting I suppose), but even those numbers are the equivalent to what - a week's worth of road accidents?

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Coat

300 - oh that's helpful

it's less than 10 additional constables per force in England and Wales - if divided equally... 300 in 145000 - there are probably more off sick than this trumpeted addition.

Mine's the high-vis one with 'POLITE' on the back

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Pirate

@Patrick Ernst

I just want to be clear on something here. Afghanistan provided safe havens and training facilities that helped to enable some crazed nut-cases to crash aircraft into big buildings and kill around 3000 people. This happened before any US involvement in Afghanistan. The country by sponsoring these criminals effectively performed an unprovoked act of war on the most powerful country on the planet. Iraq did not. It is not useful to package the 2 countries into the same, "the west should get out now" category. Whilst there is a risk of the Taleban getting back in power in Afghanistan, the US have ample justification to remain in the country. On the other hand they have no mandate nor justification to be in Iraq and should get out straight away.

In the UK though, if people from certain sections of the population want to conduct a guerilla war they should expect to deal with the consequences. Military action by non-uniformed personnel is outside the Geneva Convention and therefore punishable by death. Or you can accept legal consequences of any action - murder means life imprisonment. In either case, the Government has a fine line to walk to make sure that law-abiding citizens, and those who do not want to wage war on their homeland, do not have their rights trampled upon.

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Better Idea

Let's just ban Islam. And Catholicism, Protestantism and Judaism too, while we're at it.

All religious groups should be allowed to meet *only* for the purpose of worship. Any activity -- such as distributing food to the poor -- which might legitimately be performed by a person of any other religion or no religion, should be strictly forbidden during religious meetings. And all holy books should carry disclaimers that the content is mythology and not fact.

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IT Angle

@ David

Don't worry about it, they'll soon have 99% of the population unable to afford to use our cars. Hence cutting deaths on the road to 0.

That's got to be a vote winner.

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Anonymous Coward

Or is it just purdah !

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7350300.stm

Personally I think there is just too much hysteria about terrorism ... everyday life has many more risks than presented by any religious nut-bars who cannot separate the actions of a few politicians (TB / GB / et .. well no-one) from the views of the general public.

War in Iraq - illegal and of highly dubious worth (except in oil revenue) ... this alone has made the world less safe than it used to be.

War in Afghanistan - essentially its a war against drug lords and it would probably be cheaper to pay the locals to do anything other than grow poppies etc.

Anonymouse - because all you guys reading the Reg are scary.

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Stop

@ AC re: @Patrick Ernst

Firstly, most of the 11th September hijackers were Saudi and many trained in the artificially created border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, moving between the two at will.

You conflated al-Qaeda with the Taliban. If you recall, Texas oil men from UnoCal had no qualms about inviting the Taliban to Texas in 1997 to discuss a possible oil pipeline deal.

Just because the Afghan Taliban choose to repel their invaders without wearing military uniform does not mean that they have no rights under the Geneva Protocols or Hague Conventions or can be labelled "enemy combatants" by a Presidential swish of the pen.

Were the French resistance in WW II "enemy combatants"?

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Anonymous Coward

re: @Patrick Ernst

While i do agree somewhat you are ignoring a wee yet fundamental part of history, the US was in Afghanistan before. In the 1980's during the Soviet occupation they supplied the Taleban and the Bin Laden folks with weapons and funding to better defeat the Soviet military, which they did.

Also they (Taleban and Bin Laden folks) were rather annoyed with what they perceive as US collusion with Israel's perceived crimes against the Palestinians, and no matter the rights and wrongs the US has been loathe to criticise the Israeli government. Also the placing of military bases all over their land was a sore point though this grip should have been more aimed at the Saudis who let them build the bases. So in their eyes it was hardly unprovoked.

Also the US should have chosen a more pragmatic strategy in dealing with Afghanistan. Involving more Muslim states in removing the Taleban from power and possibly using low intensity surgical strikes to remove the heads from the beast. Instead the ran in all guns blazing, usual US tactic, which has now just produced a guagmire which is going to take years to fix and provide a lot of negative sentiment among Muslims.

All in all in my opinion the US strategic thinking was stuck 50 years in the past.

As for the Geneva Convention the US has said it doesn't apply otherwise Quantanamo is an issue, hell civil law is not even allowed because then it would still be an issue. And do u think if they all wore a crescent on their arm it would make a difference.

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Erm, excuse me but...

This whole Islam vs America/UK thing kicked off when the Jews were given Arab land (i.e. Israel) to settle in, unequivocal political and military support, and a bunch of nukes.

It had nothing to do with Afghanistan or Iraq, although it does now, obviously. Those two invasions have simply made things a lot worse.

As far as I see it, we would need to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, and remove all political and military support from Israel, before these radical muslims gave up their Jihad.

Sadly I can't really see those three things happening any time soon. So we're just going to have to put up with the wrath of those our governments have dispossessed, I guess. Oh joy.

Mind you, Whacky "Leonidas" Jackie's plan for throwing more coppers at the problem is rather like treating the symptoms without looking at the cause. Futile.

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This whole thing

> This whole Islam vs America/UK thing kicked off when the Jews were given Arab land (i.e. Israel) to settle in

Aren't you forgetting the Crusades?....

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Anonymous Coward

"... can't arrest our way out of trouble"?

If not, it's because you aren't trying hard enough. Insane religious nutters who are bent on murdering any and all who cross their path, need to be arrested, regardless of their religion.

So tell us, Ernst, what does Islam say about killing non-combatants? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Anonymous Coward

>Jews were given Arab land

The British mandate of Palestine (By virtue of the UN, not British conquest) was inhabited by both Jews and Muslims and was rapidly descending into civil war, Britain had little interest in constant war so soon after WWII so yes, dropped them in the shit, by legging it.

But many of the Jews there at the time had been there for generations, actually many of them would have the right to settle in the west bank and gaza if the UN ordered right to return actually happened.

Prior to 9/11 Bin Ladens big beef with the US was that it had troops in Saudi which he felt shouldn't be there it being holy land or something. Yet strangely ignoring the fact that there was a violent secular regime just over the hill that also posed a threat to his "holy" land, having just made a right mess in Kuwait.

I note that, despite all these religious types involved, God hasn't actually shown up yet.

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Tim

300 New Police

So they can free up more budget for police officers....why haven't they done it for other things, like drugs smuggling, immigration, untaxed cars/uninsured drivers etc which they claim to be big problems.

Simple - it's for headlines. They've created a token number of new police roles to do what "Community officers" do by visiting schools and taking an assembly to show kids police can be cool.

They take the bobby of the beat (before my time) and then replace them with the "Please like me kids I'm a police officer whos hip and happening" (which didn't work). Then they think that was such a success they'll do the same...but into mosques where people are moaning about how the west tries to control their lives...I'm not sure they understand just how rediculous the idea is.

Deporting 300 illegal imigrants which have out stayed their visa would be better, or even 3 imigrants preaching hate.

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@Sean Purdy

>> This whole Islam vs America/UK thing kicked off when the Jews were given Arab land (i.e. Israel) to settle in

>Aren't you forgetting the Crusades?....

Aren't you both forgetting it really started with the division of the Roman empire?Diocletian fucked it up, Constantine fucked it up. But then again it orriginally regarded Christianity as the virus cult that it is. IMO, everyone's been fucking it up since Augustus.

@Andrew Bolton, Good show!

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Open comment to Jacqui Smith

All tribes beat their drums and make a racket. Does the noise frighten you? Or is it that you just don't like the way they party? Whether out of motives of control or simple curiosity, it has never before been the English way to reach for the ear-plugs and the anodynes when confronted by other tribes in faraway lands. The anthropology has at times been lacking, but the political ethnography has been (in its own way) an example to the human race.

So consider religions as tribes and see what they say about other tribes (in the jargon: the "Other") - how they should be treated, what sort of rights they might be allowed, etc. Call it a "scientific approach" if you like, to distinguish it from the usual what's-in-it-for-me approach used to "sell" religions on their subjective appeal. Likewise, don't go by what their proponents necessarily say - mark that down as "anecdotal" evidence - but use the extant texts they refer to. Sounds like a job; but you're not there to be converted into any of it, and you're not appraising its plausibility as a rational belief system. So in practice most of what you will read you can treat as "noise", and the "signal" is a small part. But, like the nut behind the wheel, it is the most dangerous part of the caboose.

So try it as a laugh on Scientology (unless you are a Scientologist) - you can now download their texts over the intertube (but not of course from them). Then try it properly for the main religions. You may be surprised by what you find.

P.S. Don't miss any out. Don't cheat by cribbing. And don't let other people do your reading for you.

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terrrrr

On occupation, religion, reasons etc. Looser are often angry and seek revenge.

On the anti-radicalization force.... I think it's good to have some 'outreach' to those who are hostile etc. While it may not prevent more casualties today v.s. drunk drivers, it may be a prudent investment for the future. Especially if it prevents 9/11 part 12 and further war in the middle east. Good cop + bad cop is much better than just bad cop approach.

@ Patrick Ernst We have differences. Relax. We all may 'defend' our countries or values with our lives. 9/11 is pre US occupation. So the problem exists outside of our current wars. (I agree the Iraq war was wrong, and I can't be positive on the best thing to do NOW. It's a democracy and the govt wants us to stay!)

I think the ultimate answer is logical. It will eventually involve less religion, and more cooperation. (interperet that how you will...) Which I hope is what I think these 300+ will do.

(p.s. large magic marker crescent on your shirt uniform v.s. pretending to be a pregnant lady (with bomb vest) shopping is a HUGE difference.)

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ian
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@Luther

You are missing the "theory vs practice" conflict. A religion's texts mean nothing really. It is how a religion is practiced that is the true measure of the religion. Most religious texts are so convoluted and contradictory that they can mean almost anything and so are open interpretation.

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There will be no 300 extra officers...

The latest official Home Office statistics on "police numbers" showed a moderate increase only because it included civilian staff and CSOs - the number of police officers FELL by over 600 and will continue to fall because of the "Edmund Davies bump" - the retirement after 30 years service by those who joined when police pay was increased dramatically in the late 1970s/ early 1980s.

From: "Police Service Strength, England & Wales, Sept 2007"

http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs08/hosb0208.pdf

"Police officer numbers for the 43 English and Welsh forces plus secondments to central services have decreased by 185 or 0.1 per cent compared with September 2006 and have decreased by 647 or 0.5 per cent compared with March 2007."

Already, almost all "response" officers have less than 4 years of service!

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@ Gary Myers, David

Mr Myers - Yes we DID seem to need terror plods when the the IRA were in full swing! That is why we have had Special Branch officers since the late 19th centuary.

David - 52 deaths and many injured on 7th July 2005. A further atrocity attempted by another group a couple of weeks later on 21st July.

Terrorism has numerous definitions and takes many forms. You seem to be dismissing the threat in the UK but I bet you would have shit yourself if you had cause to travel on the London underground in mid July 2005. What could have happened on the anniversary?

That is the point of terrorism, from whichever group it comes. The act of terrorism is unlikely to be aimed at you specifically but would you ignore an unattended bag on a bus, train or at an airport? After all you are not the target.

Terrorists only have to be lucky once to be 'heroes'.

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Wank

They should immediately arrest themselves.

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@Mark_T

"The dreaded Pamphlet Police?"

A "Constable Visit-the-Infidel-with-Explanatory-Pamphlets" in reverse?

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@Tonto

I /was/ on the London Underground on 7/7. And I missed the Harrods and Baltic Exchange attacks by a few minutes. I wasn't scared of the IRA then, and I'm not scared of self-styled "Islamic" terrorists now.

I /am/ scared of what the Government is doing to we, The People, in the name of counter-terrorism.

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Heart

Less police, more radical ideas please

When they say targeting mosques, they're not talking about weeding out imaams. They're the least likely to peddle radicalist ideas - Abu Hamza is very much the exception. Instead, it's usually young radicals whispering in your ear or standing outside with some anti-imperialist leaflets. Those are the ones to watch out for.

What imams do tend to do, is practice social exclusion. Their often puritan, unwilling to give sermons in English, and when they do, peddle strict conformance to cultural norms (which often don't flow out of core Islamic texts in themselves). There's also hierarchies of power: minority Indian imams may control mosques where disaffected Pakistanis are the majority.

So, not sure the police are the right people for the job. Perhaps give greater resources and power to Islamic NGOs. Reduce their Saudi-sponsored funding through state subsidy so they can have more (liberal) political clout.

Just an idea...

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Anonymous Coward

I forget, who dropped the nukes on Japan?

Oh it was the moderate western style atmosphere.

A decade or so later - what was going on in Korea - again the moderate western style atmosphere.

A few more years and the napalm in Vietnam, let me guess the moderate western style atmosphere.

And wasn't there a couple of little wars in some desert place, Iraq I think - friendly fire, bunker busters and the finale of a internetvised hanging of a person put in place and then oh so moderately removed by a western style atmosphere.

I want to know what the hell they are smoking, they certainly have a moderate western style atmosphere with the truth.

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