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BITN 831_16,17,19 (terror):BITN 772_20,21 (orbit) 1/7/10 17:54 Page 17

COUNTER TERRORISM

Facing page: terror at
Glasgow Airport; one of the
The force is with you
slides used in an Operation The Big Issue in the North asked for details on how forces in its area that had signed up to Project
Griffin meeting. This page: Griffin had delivered the programme. The responses varied widely.
Griffin officials rammed Cheshire Police has held one awareness event. Greater Manchester Police runs training sessions
home their message by monthly for 42 months with an average of 20 attendees. Leeds-Bradford International Airport runs its
linking Steps the band to own Project Griffin training.
steps to treat poison attacks Both South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester forces, like East Midlands Airport, invited The Big Issue
in the North to attend a Project Griffin training session. In contrast Derbyshire and Northumbria said
they had no information to release despite the fact they are Project Griffin members, Merseyside Police
said it would cost too much to provide the information requested and Cumbria didn’t respond.

environmental groups, Irish republican splinter “If you have
organisations and fathers’ rights groups as potential
sources. any precon-
Each force adapts the basic Project Griffin formula
for its own needs. Greater Manchester Police has a
ceptions of
Griffin training session booked in every month until what a terrorist
March next year. Delegates get information on, among
other things, city centre evacuation plans. Those who looks like,
have signed up can take part in monthly conference
calls with the force’s CTSAs to get the latest threat forget it.”
assessments.
Det Insp Andy Brown of Greater Manchester
Police’s Counter Terrorist Unit said: “We are
“Terrorist plots occur across the UK,” he said. “It is extremely pleased local security personnel have
not just a London problem. If you have any pledged their support to Project Griffin. With their
preconceptions of what a terrorist looks like, forget help we can ensure Greater Manchester is a hostile
it.” environment for terrorist activity and, in turn, a safer
Towersey also made clear that, while al-Qaeda was place.”
the main threat, attacks could come from other At the airport, it was the turn of the army bomb
directions. He listed animal rights activists, disposal team to give a talk on the kind of devices it

Is Prevent the cure? they see fit on Prevent programmes.
Ostensibly it is a hearts and minds operation,
which aims to link with community groups and
schools. But a strong and controversial by-product is
the generation of intelligence about potential
The government’s Prevent strategy is intended to tackle extremists, which Muslim communities are
encouraged to share with the police.
the violent extremism that could lead to terrorism. But Earlier this year Shami Chakrabarti, director of
human rights organisation Liberty, described it
critics say its emphasis on producing intelligence about bluntly as “the biggest spying programme in Britain
in modern times and an affront to civil liberties”.
the Muslim community is counter-productive, writes In Manchester, one of the top ten recipients of
Phil Chamberlain, and damages race relations Prevent funding in the country, the council has been
working with the local police counter-terrorism unit
as well as voluntary organisations such as
Millions of pounds have been spent on a programme Peacemaker, which was born of the 2001 Oldham
aimed at preventing the radicalisation of young riots. Schools, prisons, probation service, mosques
Muslims – but question marks remain over its and other organisations have all been drawn in.
effectiveness. Some of the money has gone on research to map the
The Prevent programme was launched by the Muslim and ethnic minority communities and
government in the wake of the 7/7 bombings in 2005. convene focus groups. One element involves
Aiming to challenge violent extremism, it is led by monitoring “new arrivals in the community”.
the Department for Communities and Local There have been a number of projects aimed at
Government (DCLG) but has strong anti-terrorist young people, either through drama workshops in
input from the Foreign Office, the Home Office’s low- schools or providing more sports and leisure
key Office for Security and Counter Terrorism and the facilities. The University of Manchester has created a
Research, Information and Communication Unit, Muslim Student Leadership scheme, to provide a
which is based in the Home Office but staffed by a “safe” forum for debates. Several projects have
number of departments. specifically targeted Muslim women, while an
The DCLG has given grants to a number of local informal network of mosques has been established.
authorities in conjunction with the police to spend as Some 250 frontline council staff have been given

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