Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund

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Concept.png Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund
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The Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund was established by the British government's Department for Communities and Local Government in 2007 as "a key element of the Prevent element of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy - CONTEST."[1]

The Pathfinder Fund distributes funds via local government to Muslim organisations that will assist in:

"preventing violent extremism and...creating a situation where Muslim communities reject and actively condemn violent extremism and seek to undermine and isolate violent extremists".[2]

It was agreed by the DCLG that £5 million would be made available under the Pathfinder Fund from April 2007 for that financial year,[3] however, this figure drastically increased to £45 million under the leadership of Hazel Blears and will be allocated over the next three financial years.[4]

By 2010-11, it has been suggested that PVE Pathfinder funding will increase to £18 million per year.[5]

Strategic Objectives

The strategic objectives of the Pathfinder fund are:

"to develop a community in which Muslims in our communities: * identify themselves as a welcome part of a wider British society and are accepted as such by the wider community;
  • reject violent extremist ideology and actively condemn violent extremism;
  • isolate violent extremist activity, and support and co-operate with the police and security services; and,
  • develop their own capacity to deal with problems where they arise and support diversionary activity for those at risk."[6]

To deliver these objectives, it is suggested by the DCLG that there should be "concerted action" between "central Government, local government, the police and the security services, the third sector and, vitally, local communities...".

The Pathfinder Fund also suggests that the above objectives need to be focused on the following three levels -

  • At the general population of our Muslim communities, helping them to build their resilience to violent extremist messages and to voice their condemnation of violent extremism;
  • At those who are most at risk of being groomed into violent extremist ideologies, developing specific interventions to help individuals counter such messages; and,
  • At those justifying and/or glorifying violent extremist ideologies and terrorism...[who create]...an ambiance and atmosphere of toleration of extremist ideologies and terrorism."[7]

Increasing Resilience

According to the Pathfinder Fund Guidance Notes, early interventions and the resilience of key organisations against violent extremism can be enhanced through:

  • "activities that improve intelligence gathering and sharing at a local level, to create systems in their own services/institutions (or with partners) for enabling concerns/intelligence to be reported and acted on and to promote effective working with local police/regional security services.
  • Activities that seek to provide mechanisms to identify vulnerable communities, groups and individuals in local areas and strategies by which to address such at risk groups, and
  • Activities to develop targeted programmes of counter- and de-radicalisation work in local areas, particularly in key institutions – such as universities, colleges and schools – and key locations."[8]

Uncertain Objectives

According to a PVE Pathfinder Fund Report published by the DCLG, which mapped a total of 261 PVE projects activities in 2007/08 for nine English regions it stated that:

"Over two-fifths of all projects across England sought to challenge the violent extremist ideology and support mainstream voices (Objective 1) and develop understanding, analysis and evaluation (Objective 6, 48% and 44% respectively)"[9]
Table 1: This graph shows the number of PVE Pathfinder Projects that were focused on either of the 7 objectives of Prevent[10]
According to the wording of the official British counter-terrorism Strategy - CONTEST, the purpose of Objective 6 is
"...to: develop supporting intelligence, analysis and information...".[11]

Therefore, out of the 261 projects under the Pathfinder Fund, 44 percent of projects (114 actual projects) were focused on the collation of information, intelligence and analysis, along with undermining the extremist voices within local Muslim communities.

South-West England-All the projects that were carried out under the PVE Pathfinder Fund in the South-West of England (a total of 3) were categorised by the DCLG Report as assissting in the the delivery of "Objective 6" - 'to develop supporting intelligence, analysis and information'.[12]

The Director of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism responded to the claim that Prevent was being used to Spy on Muslim communities to a PVE Select Committee by stating:

“For the avoidance of doubt, surveillance is not part of the Prevent programme and intelligence gathering is not a feature of the Prevent programme. It does not say so in the strategy and does not say so in our guidance documents. What we have said is what you get.” [13]

How Success is Measured in the Pathfinder Fund

According to the DCLG:

"The key measure of success will be demonstrable changes in attitudes among Muslims, and wider communities they are part of, locally and nationally".[14]

This will be done by:

"Understanding and mapping current local attitudes will thus be important and local partners will be invited to take part in developing, piloting and rolling out surveys that provide baselines for future progress".[15]

Funding Eligibility

Any local council borough, which housed either a "sizeable Muslim community", or had more than 5 percent Muslims, was considered for funding under the Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder programme.

The actual wording in the Guidance Notes stated:

"Our aim is to develop resilient British Muslim communities as part of our response to this threat. The fund will therefore be focused on local authorities with sizeable Muslim communities. As a starting point, authorities with populations of 5% or more should be considered for funding. [16]

Funding: Regional Breakdown

Breakdown of funding given to 9 English regions under the PVE Pathfinder Fund for year 2007-08[17]

Funding under the PVE Pathfinder Fund for the year 2007-08 totaled £5,970,377.00 and was distributed to the following nine English regions (shown in Table 2).[18] The specific councils within these regions that were recognised as priority funding areas/councils (or potential problem areas) in 2007/08 and were subsequently allocated funding under the PVE Pathfinder Fund are as follows: [19]

South-West

Bristol City Council |

South East

Wycombe District Council | Oxford City Council | Reading Borough Council | Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead | Slough Borough Council | Crawley Borough Council | Woking Borough Council

London

Barking and Dagenham Council | London Borough of Barnet | Brent Council | Camden Council |London Borough of Croydon Ealing Council | Enfield Council | Greenwich Council | London Borough of Hackney | Hammersmith and Fulham Council | Haringey Council | Harrow Council | London Borough of Hillingdon | Hounslow Council | Islington Council | Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea | London Borough of Lambeth | Lewisham Council | London Borough of Merton | London Borough of Newham | London Borough of Redbridge | Southwark Council | Tower Hamlets Council | London Borough of Waltham Forest | Wandsworth Borough Council | City of Westminster City Council |

East of England

Bedford Borough Council | Luton Borough Council | Peterborough City Council | Watford Borough Council |

East Midlands

Derby City Council | Leicester City Council | Nottingham City Council |

West Midlands

Birmingham City Council | Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council | Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council | Stoke-on-Trent City Council | Walsall Council |

Yorkshire & the Humber

Bradford Metropolitan District Council | Calderdale Council | Kirklees Council | Leeds City Council | Wakefield City Council |

North West

Greater Manchester

Bolton Council | Bury Metropolitan Borough Council | Manchester City Council | Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council | Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council | Salford City Council | Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council | Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council | Trafford Council | Wigan Council |

Lancashire:

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council | Burnley Borough Council | Hyndburn Borough Council

Pendle Borough Council | Preston City Council | Ribble Valley Borough Council | Rossendale Borough Council |

North East

Middlesbrough Borough Council | Newcastle City Council |

See Also

Community Leadership Fund | Challenge and Innovation Fund | Prevent Funding |



References

  1. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Guidance Notes, Department for Communities & Local Government, 7 February 2007, p.3, accessed 19.03.10
  2. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Guidance Notes, Department for Communities & Local Government, 7 February 2007, p.3, accessed 19.03.10
  3. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Guidance Notes, Department for Communities & Local Government, 7 February 2007, p.3, accessed 19.03.10
  4. Susannah Tarbush, 'The Quilliam Foundation', Al-Hayat, 26 May 2008
  5. Susannah Tarbush, 'The Quilliam Foundation', Al-Hayat, 26 May 2008
  6. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Guidance Notes, Department for Communities & Local Government, 7 February 2007, p.7, accessed 19.03.10
  7. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Guidance Notes, Department for Communities & Local Government, 7 February 2007, p.7, accessed 19.03.10
  8. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Guidance Notes, Department for Communities & Local Government, 7 February 2007, p.11, accessed 19.03.10
  9. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Mapping of project activities 2007/2008, Communities and Local Government, December 2008, p.47 accessed 17.03.10
  10. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Mapping of project activities 2007/2008, Communities and Local Government, December 2008, p.47 accessed 17.03.10
  11. Pursue, Prevent, Protect, Prepare: The United Kingdom's Strategy for Countering International Terrorism March 2009, HM Government, p.14 - accessed 17.03.10
  12. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Mapping of project activities 2007/2008, Communities and Local Government, December 2008, p.46 accessed 17.03.10
  13. Ev.76, Q371 by Andy Slaughter to Mr Charles Farr, Communities and Local Government Committee, Preventing Violent Extremism, Sixth Report of Session 2009-10, 19 January 2010. Printed on 16.03.10 – accessed 24.04.10
  14. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Guidance Notes, Department for Communities & Local Government, 7 February 2007, p.7, accessed 19.03.10
  15. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Guidance Notes, Department for Communities & Local Government, 7 February 2007, p.7, accessed 19.03.10
  16. [Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Guidance Notes, Department for Communities & Local Government, 7 February 2007, p.6, accessed 19.03.10
  17. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Mapping of project activities 2007/2008, Communities and Local Government, December 2008, p.39 accessed 17.03.10
  18. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund: Mapping of project activities 2007/2008, Communities and Local Government, December 2008, p.39 accessed 17.03.10
  19. Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund 2007/08 Case Studies, Department for Communities & Local Government, April 2007, see p.14 - Annex A, accessed 22.03.10
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