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Experts present counter-terrorism research

National experts on counter-terrorism and community relations are taking part in a Leeds Beckett University conference this month.

Leeds beckett university law symposium counter terrorism pic of scales of justice The Leeds Law School event will explore areas including the radicalisation of young people, education and school strategies, freedom of expression and hate crimes.

Among those presenting at the conference on Thursday 19 September is Detective Superintendent Matthew Davison, a former Police Commander who now coordinates the North East’s Prevent - part of the UK's counter-terrorism strategy.

The event has been organised by Dr David Lowe, a senior research fellow at Leeds Beckett’s Leeds Law School. A former police detective who also works with the Home Office, his research focuses on terrorism and security, and policing and criminal law.

Dr Lowe said: “Prevent is aimed at helping those vulnerable to being drawn towards terrorism. However, it’s also been the subject of much criticism and suspicion.

“The criticisms have ranged from the strategy being targeted at UK Muslims - making them a suspect community - to the strategy being another layer of state surveillance.

“This latter claim seems to be reinforced by the statutory responsibility on workers in the criminal justice system, education, government and health to report those they perceive as vulnerable to being drawn towards terrorism.

“Our Leeds Law School symposium brings together practitioners involved in the UK’s Prevent strategy and academics who research this area.

“We will consider the apparent disparity between practice and academic research to provide a wider and more meaningful understanding of the strategy from which a foundation is created where academia and practice work closer together in achieving the aims of Prevent. “

Other speakers at the conference, entitled Prevent Strategy: Helping vulnerable people drawn towards terrorism or another layer of state surveillance? will include:

• Mushuq Hussein, a Senior Youth and Community Worker at Marsden Heights Community College in Lancashire. His work includes supporting students from diverse backgrounds and setting up multi-cultural football team Life FC.

• Professor Simon Gardiner, Research Lead at Leeds Law School who specialises in corruption, regulation and governance in sport.

• Dr David Lundie, Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at Liverpool Hope University. He investigates the impact of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act on spiritual, moral, social and cultural education in England.

• Penny Moon, director of charity A Quiet Place, which works to improve well-being in workplaces and schools.

• Robin Bennett from Leeds Law School, who is researching the impact of the Prevent duty on legal academics working within higher education.

• Stuart Wroe, a lecturer in Youth and Community Development at the University of Cumbria, who works with some of the most marginalised young people both in the UK and internationally.

• Phil Arnold, an Executive Headteacher in Oldham. Phil also works with charities, schools and trusts promoting partnership working.

More details about the Prevent symposium are available here.
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