Prevent database is secure but not secret | Letter
Describing a documented database as ‘secret’ risks causing unjustified distrust in a multi-agency programme that seeks to protect those vulnerable to all forms of radicalisation and keep our communities safe, writes Chief Constable Simon Cole
Your front-page lead (7 October) talks of a “secret” police Prevent database. It is not a very well kept “secret”; a quick online search brings up numerous references to its existence in public documents – and it is where the published annual referral statistics are sourced from. The Prevent pages on the National Police Chiefs’ Council website also refer to the fact Prevent officers keep records.
We do this for exactly the same purpose we document other forms of supportive safeguarding activity such as for child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse or human trafficking. It means we can be – and are – subject to oversight and accountability.Continue reading...