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Changing the gender of counter terrorism through PREVENT implementation. GENDERING COUNTER TERRORISM.

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Presentation on theme: "Changing the gender of counter terrorism through PREVENT implementation. GENDERING COUNTER TERRORISM."— Presentation transcript:

1 Changing the gender of counter terrorism through PREVENT implementation. GENDERING COUNTER TERRORISM

2 POLICY BACKGROUND TO THE RESEARCH 2003 UK Government publishes its first ever publicly available CT Strategy called CONTEST, this has evolved through two subsequent versions (Home Office 2006, 2009 & 2011). CONTEST consists of four work streams (PREPARE, PROTECT, PURSUE & PREVENT) designed to address separate aspects of CT. PREPARE, PROTECT & PURSUE are a codification of CT methods which have been used by the UK for centuries are generally kept secret. PREVENT is different. It aims to stop people becoming or supporting terrorists (Home Office 2011:7) and is not secret.

3 LOCAL BACKGROUND TO THE RESEARCH Despite PREVENT being rolled out nationally through a network of Counter Terrorism Units (CTUs) and Counter Terrorism Intelligence Units (CTIUs) its implementation has been left to locals to develop. In the West Midlands this has been driven by West Midlands CTU and the Security and Partnership Officers. These officers work for the CTU and have all got high level security clearances. Yet they wear uniform, spend 90% of their time in communities, hand out business cards and always state what their role is and who they work for. The Security & Partnership Officers are, effectively, community police officers tasked with CT.

4 TRADITIONAL GENDER OF COUNTER TERRORISM Specialist area of policing which is often perceived as having prestige within the police. Prestige given because it is seen as exciting, daring and able to make a real difference. Secret nature of many police counter terrorism roles adds to this prestige. These elements mean it is arguable that counter terrorism is gendered male by police officers in the same way that Westmarland (2001) found other specialist police roles to be.

5 POTENTIAL CHANGES TO THE GENDER OF CT PREVENT implementation has altered this gendering of counter terrorism in the West Midlands. The use of uniformed, overt officers (SPOs) in a neighbourhood role removes many of the elements which cause other aspects of counter terrorism to be seen as male. Instead, a more pink and fluffy policing approach is pursued which focuses on community engagement, individual relationships and time spent in communities. It is about listening, understanding and acting on community identified issues. It is a counter terrorism version of Neighbourhood Policing and is potentially gendered as being female.

6 PINK & FLUFFY PREVENT POLICING Reduced desire for action often associated with specialised policing areas. A willingness to talk, listen and offer support to individuals and communities which is not based solely around detecting crime or applying criminal sanctions. Constructed gender enables SPOs to separate themselves conceptually from PURSUE, PROTECT, PREPARE. These potentially make the SPOs better at in their role as joint community liaison and HUMINT source.

7 FOR MORE INFORMATION Bahadur Lamb, J. (2013), Preventing Violent Extremism; A Policing Case Study of the West Midlands in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, ( 7 ): 1, PP HM Government (2006), Countering International Terrorism: The United Kingdoms Strategy, The Stationary Office: London. HM Government (2009), PURSUE, PREVENT, PROTECT, PREPARE: The United Kingdoms Strategy for Countering International Terrorism, The Stationary Office: London. HM Government (2011), CONTEST: The United Kingdoms Strategy for Countering Terrorism, The Stationary Office: London. Westmarland, L. (2001), Gender and Policing: Sex, Power and Police Culture, Willan Publishing: Cullompton


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