The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act of 2015 was designed to tackle the issue of people travelling out of the UK to engage in terrorist activity and to give more power to operation agencies in the monitoring and control of anyone suspected of posing a terrorist threat. It also enables the Police to seize a passport at the border; allows authorities to make a Temporary Exclusion Order to prevent suspected terrorists returning to the UK, and gives the Police the freedom to increase border security and screening measures.
It also made it a statutory duty for all public sector bodies to ‘’pay due regard’ in preventing people being drawn into terrorism’’. Consequently, public sector workers from teachers, GPs, social workers to lecturers are now given training to spot signs of radicalisation and refer individuals to a Prevent panel which will determine whether the individuals requires interventions including from a de-radicalisation mentor.
Some Prevent trainers, Prevent assessors and Prevent panels refer to ERG22+ as a framework to assess whether an individual is vulnerable to ‘’being drawn into terrorism’’
Extremism Risk Guidance
The theory underpinning the Government counter-extremism strategy can be found in the Channel’s Vulnerability Assessment Framework and is known as Extremism Risk Guidance, or ERG 22+.
The guidance provides 22 factors observed in terrorists. The factors are based on their risk of engagement in extremist activity, the individual’s intent and their capability in carrying out extremist activity. The tests, which were originally developed by the National Offenders Management Service for convicted terrorists are now being used on people of all ages and backgrounds (including young children) to test whether they are at risk of being radicalised.
The methods used in ERG 22+ have been widely criticised. Criticism include
- ERG 22+ should only be used by specially trained psychologists not by public sector workers
- The various factors are vague and all encompassing and can apply to a whole number of people including activists, political campaigners, religious conservatives practicing religious traditions. .
The ERG 22+ risk factors are laid out as follows:
- Need to redress injustice and express grievance
- Need to defend against threat
- Need for identity, meaning, belonging
- Need for status
- Need for excitement, comradeship or adventure
- Need for dominance
- Susceptibility to indoctrination
- Political/ moral motivation
- Opportunistic involvement
- Family or friends support extremist offending
- Transitional periods
- Mental Health
- Over-identification with a group or case
- Us and them thinking
- Dehumanisation of the enemy
- Attitudes that justify offending
- Harmful means to an end
- Harmful end objectives
- Individual knowledge, skills and competence
- Access to networks, funding and equipment
- Criminal history
+ Any other factor
(Source: Journal of Threat Assessment and Management)
Concerns are growing that The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 is curbing free speech and disrupting the daily lives of many Muslims in Britain today and that the Act will drive a wedge between the UK authorities and 2.8 Million British Muslims. (Source: Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-security-extremism-idUSKCN10S12H)
In addition there is a growing concern from activists and political campaigners who are critical of foreign and domestic policy of the UK or another country.
If you think you have been affected by topics discussed, or if you wish to know where you stand, contact us today. Stephen Lickrish & Associates are a group of highly experienced terrorism solicitors in UK that also represent on a national basis. Regardless of where you are in the country, they have experience and dedication to help you through what can be a complex and difficult process, because your solicitors will be communicating with your family primarily in order to properly plan and execute your defence upon your return.
Stephen Lickrish & Associates have successfully provided representation many individuals suspected of terrorism, and recently represented a family suspected of terrorism in the North West in April 2015. Thanks to the expertise of the solicitors involved, all six people were released without charge after being detained in Turkey.
As well as providing expertise as terrorism solicitors, Stephen Lickrish & Associates also have experience providing representation for a wide variety of offences, including:
Terrorism Solicitors in UK
Offering specialist advice and representation on terrorism cases, Stephen Lickrish & Associates Solicitors in Manchester can help. Contact us today by calling us at 0161 237 1913 or on 0800 988 64 22 for 24-hour legal advice. Alternatively, contact us by filling out an enquiry form.