Why are people so opposed to the government's Prevent strategy?

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Iridocyclitis
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Surely it is necessary in light of growing extremism and terrorist attacks? How can people oppose it and why do they oppose it?
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username1799249
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The biggest problem is that it is rather vague and blunt. But no one likes to be obliged to spy on the people around them. That is my biggest gripe. I am paid to teach, not be an informant of the state. I learned on Friday that I suspect a child of having female genital mutilation, I must report that directly to the police. This is in stark contrast to the normal systems in place in a school where you tend to report suspected abuse or issues to the specialists within the school.
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Kravence
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because it's not being used to counter terrorism, terrorism is being used as a scapegoat to implement laws that breach privacy
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TheArtofPolitics
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(Original post by Iridocyclitis)
Surely it is necessary in light of growing extremism and terrorist attacks? How can people oppose it and why do they oppose it?
The PREVENT is a less about preventing actionable violent thoughts and more about conforming to certain values - with statutory obligations placed upon those with access to children to report certain behaviours which theoretically should demonstrate "extremism" (a vague definition similar to that of a terrorist) - for which the evidence does not stack up.

Similar to the predecessor of RICU, it targets those who someone has deemed as "threats to the system" - whether that is because they espouse an opposing viewpoint or express behaviours which are antithesis to the establishment.
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Meany Pie
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(Original post by ByEeek)
I learned on Friday that I suspect a child of having female genital mutilation, I must report that directly to the police.
You learnt that you are supposed to report crimes to the police? Why is that surprising?
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Meany Pie
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To be quite honest, I'm not really that sure about what Prevent even does.
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Kravence
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
What? Why would they do that? It isn't as though the government has a fetish for ridiculously authoritarian policies which serve no purpose other than to undo our freedom to think, speak, and act freely.
I can no longer tell whether you're being serious or not
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Meany Pie
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
*suspected child abuse, not any old crime
Even if you suspect a crime you still report it to the police, kind of their job to look into these things.
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Meany Pie
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
Tl;dr: your lecturer spying on you and reporting behaviour he doesn't like to counter-terror forces.
They are probably in a good position to do so since they will spend a fair amount of time with you.

To be honest, I had a talk from the police a few weeks back just after the recent attacks and they told us to report if any of the tenants were acting suspiciously. Even simple things like people who didn't wear religious clothing start to or if they start praying when they hadn't before.
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username1799249
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(Original post by Meany Pie)
You learnt that you are supposed to report crimes to the police? Why is that surprising?
Because it is usually reported within the school and when dealing with external bodies i.e. social services, an approach is made on behalf of the school. Enforcing teachers to report suspicions directly is a terrifying prospect for a teacher, especially if the accused found out who had reported it. Also, would the teacher be required to provide evidence in a court of law? If the school makes a report, there is an additional level of anonymity and it is the school making the allegation, not an individual within the school.
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Meany Pie
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Because it is usually reported within the school and when dealing with external bodies i.e. social services, an approach is made on behalf of the school. Enforcing teachers to report suspicions directly is a terrifying prospect for a teacher, especially if the accused found out who had reported it. Also, would the teacher be required to provide evidence in a court of law? If the school makes a report, there is an additional level of anonymity and it is the school making the allegation, not an individual within the school.
Reporting doesn't need to be a "terrifying prospect", I don't really understand what is so terrifying about it.

I assume the going above the school in some matters is because the school my be complicit in the crime, like the trojan horse scandal not all that long ago.

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username1799249
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(Original post by Meany Pie)
Reporting doesn't need to be a "terrifying prospect", I don't really understand what is so terrifying about it.

I assume the going above the school in some matters is because the school my be complicit in the crime, like the trojan horse scandal not all that long ago.

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It is terrifying, because you effectively become an unwitting whistle blower. And as we know from history, whistle blowers rarely come out of their situation in a good place. It tends to ruin careers and home lives alike.
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Meany Pie
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(Original post by ByEeek)
It is terrifying, because you effectively become an unwitting whistle blower. And as we know from history, whistle blowers rarely come out of their situation in a good place. It tends to ruin careers and home lives alike.
Reporting a suspected crime is not a whistle blower, a whistle blower is someone who reports their own institution for wrong doing.

If you think there is something seriously wrong it should be obvious to tell the police.

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TheArtofPolitics
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(Original post by Meany Pie)
Reporting doesn't need to be a "terrifying prospect", I don't really understand what is so terrifying about it.

I assume the going above the school in some matters is because the school my be complicit in the crime, like the trojan horse scandal not all that long ago.

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You mean the "fake-trojan-horse-scandal" - allegations which turned out to be without foundation which only the Daily Mail seems intent on repeating with their every breath?
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username1799249
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(Original post by Meany Pie)
Reporting a suspected crime is not a whistle blower, a whistle blower is someone who reports their own institution for wrong doing.

If you think there is something seriously wrong it should be obvious to tell the police.

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I agree. But if the ramifications are that as a teacher my position became untenable as a result of say, reporting something that turned out to be untrue, then I would be in a tricky position.

Sadly in this world, doing the right thing doesn't always play out for the person reporting. This issue could be solved simply by allowing the school to make the report. Then it isn't on the shoulders of the individual teacher. You can sack a teacher. You can't sack a school.
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Meany Pie
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(Original post by ByEeek)
I agree. But if the ramifications are that as a teacher my position became untenable as a result of say, reporting something that turned out to be untrue, then I would be in a tricky position.

Sadly in this world, doing the right thing doesn't always play out for the person reporting. This issue could be solved simply by allowing the school to make the report. Then it isn't on the shoulders of the individual teacher. You can sack a teacher. You can't sack a school.
Why would you be, the person involved isn't going to be told it was you that reported them.

They can't leave it to schools if they are complicit with the issue that you raise. You can't sack a teacher without good reason, that would be unfair dismissal.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Enforcing teachers to report suspicions directly is a terrifying prospect for a teacher, especially if the accused found out who had reported it.
Are you cut out to be a teacher? It sounds as if you are frightened of retaliation. How do you enforce discipline?
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limetang
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(Original post by ByEeek)
The biggest problem is that it is rather vague and blunt. But no one likes to be obliged to spy on the people around them. That is my biggest gripe. I am paid to teach, not be an informant of the state. I learned on Friday that I suspect a child of having female genital mutilation, I must report that directly to the police. This is in stark contrast to the normal systems in place in a school where you tend to report suspected abuse or issues to the specialists within the school.
To be honest I don't see a problem with that. If you suspect a crime has taken place then the police would seem to be the appropriate body to bring it to. This notion that criminal matters should be referred internally within a school seems ... dodgy to me. It would seem in this case that it serves to protect the child less to have 'specialists' within a school dealing with what is a criminal matter (which isn't to say that there shouldn't be a role for in school specialists but this matter should still be referred to the police).
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username1799249
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Are you cut out to be a teacher? It sounds as if you are frightened of retaliation. How do you enforce discipline?
You are confusing teaching students, enforcing discipline in the classroom and imparting knowledge with spying on students and reporting any concerns to the police. I would be very uneasy giving evidence in a statement to the police and even more uneasy standing up in court. It isn't that the school would sack me, it is that my name would become public and liable to unfavourable publicity. This is not the sort of record you want next to a Google search of your name when it comes to future employers. No one likes the spot light being cast on them by association regardless of whether it is in a positive or negative light. That is where I am coming from. I teach. I do not spy. Sadly though, the law would have me do otherwise. In matters of safe guarding you report through the school, yet for whatever reason, in cases of female genital mutilation, you are on your own and must report directly.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by ByEeek)
in cases of female genital mutilation, you are on your own and must report directly.
Frankly, I am appalled that you, as a human being and a British citizen, would not expect to report well-founded suspicions of such abuse to the police, unprompted by a legal requirement and regardless of your status as a teacher.
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