In June, Prevent colleagues in Blackburn and Darwen Council’s Community Safety Team invited Sean Arbuthnot to deliver a presentation at an Extremism Seminar at Blackburn Town Hall.
Attended by professionals from across Lancashire, the purpose of the event was to raise awareness of far right extremism and how to counter it. Among the special guests addressing the conference were Iby Knell, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor and Professor Matthew Feldman from the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.
Iby recounted her experiences of imprisonment in Auschwitz Birkenau in 19944 and warned how destructive the spread of intolerance and prejudice can be. Professor Feldman focussed on the current national picture of the far right in the UK. Sean talked about how Prevent in Leicestershire safeguards vulnerable people from far right extremism and how front line staff across partner agencies can play a role in this endeavour. He highlighted some of the successful projects that have been piloted in Leicester, including the augmented reality RealTalk workshop for schools and colleges. This is a good example of Prevent in Leicester sharing good practice with colleagues nationally.
Cllr Shaukat Hussaon, Executive Member of Neighbourhood and Prevention Services, said “It was extremely powerful to hear from speakers who are working to transform lives and ultimately protect communities. We need to do what we can to prevent people, from any section of the community, from being drawn into extremism and radicalisation.”