The 2015 counter-extremism strategy committed the Government for the first time to tackling the non-terrorist harm that extremism causes. Since 2015, supported by civil society groups, we have taken steps to protect public institutions from the threat of extremism.
In the light of the Parsons Green attack, which was committed by a refugee who had been fostered in my constituency, what steps is my right hon. Friend taking directly to make sure that the public feel safe when going about their daily business?
I can tell my hon. Friend that the new counter-terrorism strategy introduced today touches on counter-extremism as well, and some lessons were learned from the Parsons Green attack. If he would like to learn more about that, I am happy to meet him.
After the bombing in Manchester, my constituency experienced a sudden sharp loss of police resources in favour of the city of Birmingham, so I welcome the £450 million extra to be spent on combating terrorism. Does the Home Secretary agree that programmes such as the Church Urban Fund’s Near Neighbours scheme are also needed to tackle the underlying causes of extremism and to help strengthen social cohesion?
I agree very much with my right hon. Friend. She will know that I am a big fan of the Near Neighbours scheme. Since 2011 the Government have committed more than £11 million to it, and there is a further £2.6 million agreed for the next two years. There may also be support available from the Government’s “Building a Stronger Britain Together” campaign.
My constituents will be absolutely aghast at the thought of people from organisations such as ISIS returning here. What steps can the Government take to prevent people from such organisations causing harm to our population?
My hon. Friend’s constituents are right to be aghast at that, and I fully understand that feeling. This is a Europe-wide issue, and I have already discussed it with some of my counterparts in Europe. We are making sure that individuals who return from conflict zones such as Syria are properly investigated and potentially prosecuted by police, and that if they do come back and live here we have proper restrictions in place.
Will the Home Secretary please delegate a Minister to meet me about an issue on which it is crucial that work is done sensitively, because errors can occur? I refer to a constituent whose home was mistakenly broken into by terror police. He has been unable to return to work, and his neighbours all believe that he is a terrorist. Will the Home Secretary please delegate a Minister to meet me to sort that out as soon as possible?
It sounds like a very important issue, and I will make sure that that is done.