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Preventive Counterterrorism Policing: The Impact of Community Engagement on Public Cooperation

Richards, Neda (2019) Preventive Counterterrorism Policing: The Impact of Community Engagement on Public Cooperation. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

PhD Thesis Neda Richards with final corrections.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
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The ongoing and evolving threat from Islamist and far-right extremism, as well as the challenges associated with returnee foreign fighters, means that reporting of radicalisation and extremism is a counterterrorism priority. Surprisingly, the research on incentives and obstacles for reporting is limited — i.e. focused on communication campaigns such as ‘See it. Say it. Sorted’, and the threshold for reporting in targeted communities. Thus, this research aims to contribute distinctively to the literature. This interdisciplinary comparative case study examines the role and limitations of counterterrorism community engagement (CTCE) in the reporting of radicalisation and extremism in West Yorkshire (UK) and East Jutland (Denmark). Specifically, this thesis explores (1) delivery of CTCE in these regions; (2) the effect of CTCE on reporting behaviour; (3) the motivations of and barriers to reporting for professionals and families; and (4) the extent to which data from this study and theories in the fields of criminology, political science, behavioural science and psychology collectively explain the relationship between CTCE and reporting. Semi-structured interviews and secondary data were collected between 2017 and 2019 to understand if and how the formal reporting of radicalisation and extremism could be encouraged and improved through CTCE. Consequently, the thesis uses, develops and contributes to the existing Transformative Research Design model and Yin’s notion of case studies, which are discussed in detail. Comparative assessment of practice and experience of this cross-national study are presented. CTCE was delivered through a multi-agency approach in a multi-layered fashion, at times, targeted, focusing on different audiences. The prominent difference was that East Jutland worked closely with families, which was vital to prevention. The results suggest CTCE can positively affect reporting, especially from families and close associates (East Jutland saw 63% average annual increase); and once limited there appeared to be a negative relationship. The thesis argues the positive relationship is due to practitioners connecting with those engaged on a personal level, as well as the support available to reporters. There were similarities and differences in motivation and barriers to reporting between professionals and families, notably trigger points. The data from professional reporters revealed factors that influenced the quality of reports. Mid- to long-term recommendations are proposed. Integrated models of reporting behaviour and CTCE are introduced. The implications and limitations of the study, as well as the future research, are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Counterterrorism, Terrorism, Extremism, Radicalisation, Community Engagement, Reporting, Foreign Fighters
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Law (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Law (Leeds) > Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.805301
Depositing User: Neda Richards
Date Deposited: 11 May 2020 07:21
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26359

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