The focus groups under Work Package 2 'Mapping challenges, needs, innovative solutions required in the process of prevention and de-radicalization' were carried-out with participation of first-line practitioners, including academia representatives, educators, youth workers, social services and specialist professionals working with youth and child as psychologists, minor’s services and LEAs. The group discussions were designed around three different dimensions: religious-inspired extremism; right-wing extremism with a specific focus on Islamophobia, hate and anti-immigrant crimes; and left-wing extremism with a special focus on anarchist, animal rights, environmentalist and separatist ideologies.
The ARMOUR Focus Group in the Netherlands was held on 26 June 2019 and was hosted by our partner University of Groningen (via the Security, Technology and e-Privacy Research Group). Seven practitioners took part: a youth worker, a policeman, a researcher, two policy advisers from different municipalities, someone from child protection and a process coordinator radicalisation from a governmental network.
The discussion was divided in two parts: the first was dedicated to the concept of radicalisation and its causes, while the second one was about how to deal with it. You can find more information on the focus group methodology here.
The general conclusion was that the problem lies not in the absence of programmes or tools, but also in the accessibility and availability of those programmes and tools for first line practitioners.
Another improvement could lie in attaining more data. The general public is aware and afraid of religious extremism but doesn’t seem to care about left and right extremism. Showing the actual numbers on radicalisation in general could raise awareness.
The last recommendation was to mobilise other partners, especially schools, to create awareness about the problem and offer knowledge and skills on how to notice and deal with problematic behaviour.