Police are to tell councils of the local terror threat they face and identify extremists and preachers of hate operating in their midst, the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced.
The new measures were outlined at a conference for police, council leaders and Muslim groups in central London to relaunch the Government’s “Prevent” strategy for targeting the origins of extremism.
Ms Smith also warned council leaders not to give platforms to radical groups even if their views stopped short of directly advocating violence. She said radical groups were careful to “cynically skirt the fringes of laws that rightly defend free speech to promote hate-filled ideologies”.
“They may not explicitly promote violence, but they can create a climate of fear and distrust where violence becomes more likely,” she said.
Groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir were careful to avoid advocating violent attacks within Britain while spreading extreme views.
No doubt all those individuals and organisations who opposed the law against incitement to religious hatred or defended the publication of the Danish cartoons will be vociferous in their denunciations of this attack on the right to free speech.