NATIONAL: Police defend counter-terrorism scheme

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A SENIOR Scotland Yard police officer has defended a government counter-terrorism programme.

Prevent is a strand of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy which has repeatedly attracted controversy, with critics labelling it toxic and calling for it to be scrapped.

Commander Dean Haydon believes that the criticism is based on ignorance, saying that some people ‘don’t want Prevent to work in the first place.’

Police say Prevent is a crucial plank of wider counter-terrorism and extremism efforts.

Earlier this year, a government spokeswoman said: ‘Prevent is about safeguarding people who are at risk of radicalisation.

‘Prevent does not target a specific faith or ethnic group - it deals with all forms of extremism and protects those who are targeted by terrorist recruiters.’

A full interview with Commander Haydon will be broadcast from BBC’s Asian Network on Tuesday at 10am.