Call for evidence: Views sought on resilience to extremism

Communities in the UK are being urged to share their experiences as part of a major independent review into the impacts of extremism. Dame Sara Khan, Independent Adviser for Social Cohesion and Resilience, launched the 8 week call for evidence to help examine the impact, harm and response to extremism at a local level.

Dame Khan is looking to hear directly from those who have been targeted by extremists to understand the impact on their lives and the support they received. As well as representatives from local councils and civil society, members of the public are being asked to explain what has gone well and what more could be done. These responses will help her understand the impact extremism is having at a local level and what could be improved to protect and build social cohesion.

Khan 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….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. I will be taking an independent, impartial and evidence-based approach and I want to hear from all those who have experience of these issues. This public consultation will give everyone an opportunity to contribute.

Jo Broadwood, CEO of Belong, The Cohesion and Integration Network commented: “Belong’s own research has shown that local areas that prioritised social cohesion prior to and during the pandemic maintained stronger social connections, trust, neighbourliness and more positive attitudes towards others during the crisis. As such, actively attending to and maintaining social cohesion is a vital part of building social capital and supports communities and places to be resilient to the forces of division and polarisation, including violent extremism.”

The call for evidence is open until 2nd June 2022.

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